I really didn’t mean to cause a scene or to serve as a bad role model for my son. I was just tearing apart my laundry sorter – the kind with cheap metal bars and nylon bags for holding clothes – and doing it with a little gusto when I was “found out.”
For three years I’d been rolling that sucker around the laundry room, stopping once or twice each trip to re-insert one of the metal bars that always seemed to work its way out of the corner joint. That fateful night, I had to stop four times to fix the crazy thing – and I hadn’t even rolled it a few feet.
And I had had it.
I started pulling apart the metal bars and dropping them one by one on the cement floor. I was not being careful or quiet, and I called my laundry sorter a name I’m ashamed of.
Apparently this caused quite a racket because my husband came running down the stairs to check on me, and our oldest son was close on his heels. I growled at Jessie to go back upstairs because I wasn’t sure I was done calling my laundry sorter names.( I allowed my husband to stay because he served four years in the Navy, and I was confident he had heard far worse while out at sea.)
Then, once all the pieces were on the floor and my husband and I had a good laugh at my expense, I called Jessie back to the basement to explain myself and to apologize. It’s a spiritual pattern that I’ve found myself repeating a lot in the last five years since Jessie came to live with us.
When we first started the adoption process, I thought God was allowing me to help Jessie. I didn’t know how much Jessie would help me. I had all these great lessons that I wanted to teach him and characteristics that I wanted to model for him. What I found is that I’m terribly flawed – and that if you live with me, I can’t always hide my impatience or even my slowness to forgive.
I’ve tried for years to serve God, and he finally handed me a mirror with mousy brown hair and lanky arms. It’s not always a flattering picture, but it’s accurate and it keeps me honest.
Writer’s note: In my defense I was pregnant when I threw my little fit… and my husband did go out and buy a sturdier laundry sorter that has never come apart!