I can clearly remember that moment when my daughter was still very little and I made a decision about her and my future children. I was standing outside of a Sunday School classroom and I noticed another little girl whose clothing was very mis-matched and she had topped off her outfit with sparkly, ruby-red slippers. I remember thinking, “I will never let my children dress like that.” Now when I think back on that moment, I practically die laughing at my judgement. I was still a very new parent and thought I had it all figured out.
I pondered on that judgemental moment this morning as my littlest son got in the car for church wearing his bright yellow (yellow is his very favoritest color in the whole wide world) Mickey Mouse shirt, his Batman pajama pants and his patriotic flip-flops. He was quite a sight! Admittedly we were in a hurry so I didn’t really have time to have him change, but then this is the thought that floated through my head, “Someone may look down their nose at his outfit, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
You see, a few weeks ago I had this conversation with my daughter that was very similar to the conversation in my head today. My littlest son (again) had received a pair of winter Batman pajamas complete with cape for his birthday. He immediately disappeared from his party to change into his new pajamas. Mind you, it was about 102 degrees out, but he didn’t seem to mind. From that moment on, he wore that outfit 24/7 for about a 2 weeks. I had to do some bargaining with him in order to wash it. I would wash the shirt one day and the pants the next. At one point in the midst of this stint, my daughter said to me, “Mommy, are you really going to let him go out into public with that on again? After all, he is wearing his pajamas and it is pretty hot out.”
I said, “You know what? He can be Batman for as long as he wants and never take that outfit off ever again as long as he has a good attitude in it. As soon as his attitude stinks, then that is when I begin to care.” This is where the phrase, “Pick your battles” comes into play. You see I think my kids appearance is important, but their attitude is something along this path of life that I am willing to pull over the car and deal with right on the spot.
We have this phrase in our house, “Be a blessing.” Whenever my kids go somewhere I remind them that I want them to be a blessing. Although they are normal kids and not perfect, I want people to feel blessed that my children were in their presence, not feel like a whirlwind hit them and they are relieved they left. So that is where I choose to stand my ground and pull over the car of life. People can make judgements on me or my children all they want, just like I foolishly did, but I bet that if they took the time to look past the modge-podge outfits, they would find a blessing of a kid. I’d take that any day over a well-dressed child that has an attititude that stinks to high heaven! What about you? What are you willing to make a pit stop for and what are you willing to let slide in order to keep on driving?