What are our wishes for our children, their classmates, their teachers, and ourselves as the school year begins? Maybe we hope that we’ve prepared them to be kind, thoughtful, and obedient. None of us want to be “the parents” of that rude and disruptive child. I’m learning that we, as parents, share many fears about what our little ones will be up to as the teachers carefully and tenderly ask for their attention. I remember the first note we received pinned to our son’s book bag notifying us that our child had been rather disruptive in school that day. My wife and I were mortified! Had we failed at parenting? Was there a petition seeking the expulsion of our son circulating through the school? How bad had he been? The wave of irrational reaction was overwhelming, and it didn’t seem so irrational at the moment. Somehow, we meted out the appropriate punishment and survived that event in time for the next one. We actually had to come to terms with the fact that our child wasn’t perfect. Can you imagine how dreadful it was to face that reality?
What I have learned after parenting in community with other parents is that NOBODY wants to be “those parents” of that unruly child…while we are all, from time to time absolutely “those parents.” I’ve learned that we are all the same, for the most part. And that we want to give our kids the best opportunities to grow and learn and develop into relational individuals. Maybe we can realize, together as a parenting community, that when we became parents…we became “those parents.” And that’s alright, because we can share our fears, our worries, and our failures and therefore become stronger and better at what we all pray so desperately for.
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.