A Mother’s Pride Cometh before the Fall…

by | Aug 1, 2006 | Every Day Life

Pride is a funny thing; well, maybe ‘funny’ is not the right word. how about confounding? Yes, I think confounding is exactly the word.
Just when I think I am not a prideful person, something happens and pride spews out like a fountain. I am not talking about the ‘I’m so proud of you” or “take pride in your work” kind of pride. I am talking about the “pride cometh before the fall” kind.
I often say that I don’t worry about what other people think of me. And I don’t, as long as they think I am kind, funny, helpful, compassionate, a good Christian, and a good wife and mother. It’s when someone thinks I am not those things that my pride shows up wearing full defensive gear.
My pride appears often in my role as a parent, only to get beaten to a pulp. I want people to think my children are well behaved, mannerly and nearly perfect. If I could just get my offspring to cooperate people might think that!
You see, my boys like to dress — well it’s hard to explain how they like to dress. Let’s just say it’s not pretty and sometimes it just down right weird. They certainly don’t wear their shirts tucked in and getting them into a pair of dress pants requires an act of Congress.
Then there is the hair. Between the three of them they have had spiked, bald, long, really long, and some funky half, short-half thing my son had done while on spring break in Europe. (Not exactly that all American, wholesome look of a mother’s pride would desire.)
Probably my worst ‘pride-hair dilemma’ was delivered at the hands of my husband.
I had been away on a mission trip to Brazil and missed my boys terribly. On the plane ride home, I sat next to some Marines. I told them about my children and how I couldn’t wait to see them. We get off the plane in Little Rock and there were my boys.
Shock is the only word to describe it. All three of my precious little boys were bald-headed. (They weren’t teenagers yet, so yes, they were still precious!)
Of course the Marines thought they looked great. I was drowning in pride– not the good kind. I wanted a gigantic sign that read, “I DID NOT DO THIS. THEIR FATHER DID!!!”
What made it worse was that he had them dressed in some of their old stained and dirty play clothes.
At that time my oldest was in desperate need of braces and extremely skinny. Not that he was bald-headed, he looked like a concentration camp survivor as well. When I asked my husband why my babies were bald, he said: “I was just going to give them a trim, but they wanted me to cut it all off.”
When I asked about the dirty clothes, he replied, “That’s what they wanted to wear.” I am not kidding people, I wanted a sign.
I want people to think I am an excellent parent. This is another major pride battle and means that my children need to behave. A full assault in this area happened at church recently.
My husband and I attend the Baptist Church. My two younger boys have been attending another church but went with us one recent Sunday. It had been a couple of months since they were at our church and “my pride” wanted them to be on their best behavior.
I looked over to where the youth sit and was instantly horrified.
My son Dillon was slouched in the pew with his head cocked back on the top of the pew his face to the ceiling like he is lying down. His eyes closed and it appeared he was sleeping. It wasn’t like he was in the back of the church. No, he was on the third row right in the middle. I was frantically thinking of how I could get him to sit up when I realized there was nothing I could do.
Here came that old familiar question: “What will people think?” I was so busy worrying about Dillon and other people’s opinions that I couldn’t even focus on worship. I finally did the only thing I could do, I asked God to please thump him on the head since I couldn’t reach him.
I also complained to God that “my children are such idiots sometimes,” only to hear Him reply: “I know what you mean; mine are, too.” I laughed out loud. What a true statement. I looked over and Dillon was sitting up again. That battle ended with me laughing instead of crying.
I am sure the next great collision with my pride is just around the corner. My prayer is “God please help me not be such an idiot.”

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