My friend Mollie calls my three-year-old son Will a Sour Patch Kid. Here’s why:
He can be sweet as candy (and he tells me that often) but he can also be so, so, so sour.
And so it really wasn’t a surprise to me last week when he chose the be sour at the most inopportune moment. Like. Ever.
I was at Joey’s soccer practice and Kate had joined in playing with some other kids at a kid’s camp trial. She was playing freeze tag. Joey was playing soccer. Will was sitting on my lap eating Goldfish crackers. All was good. Or so I thought.
I heard someone yell, “Who is her mother?” and then someone else ask “Do we have ice?” and “Is there a nurse or doctor here?” I saw a blur of pink on the field and recognized Kate’s shirt as several adults ran towards the place where she lay. I stood up to run towards her only to remember a moment later that Will– the Sour Patch Kid– was still sitting in the bleachers. I turned back to grab him just as he grabbed my purse (also in the bleachers), unzipped it, dumped it on the field and started to run.
Tampons. Cash. Store Receipts. Gum wrappers. A tiny syrup container that I had gotten from Cracker Barrel. All rolling around on the grass on the soccer field where people were playing. Awesome.
I glanced at Kate on the field and saw she was sitting up and surrounded by adults so I started to scoop my stuff into my purse, assuming the Sour Patch Kid would stop running away from me in the ten seconds it took to scoop everything up. But I was wrong. Because before I could think twice, he had run through an entire soccer field and was in the parking lot. Amongst giant Texas-sized trucks and beaten-up minivans. Did I mention this was a really, really awesome night for me?
Mom of the year, I am.
Will was fine (one of the soccer coaches snatched him from the lot and carried him back to me.)
Kate was fine (she did have a fractured skull (!) from smacking heads with a boy on the field… who knew?)
But I was not fine.
I felt alone. And desperate. And like the only mother in the entire world who couldn’t handle three kids at soccer practice without broken bones, near car collisions and paths of destruction.
But God has a sense of humor. Because I arrived home that night to find my dear friend Kathi Lipp’s new book “I Need Some Help Here!” sitting in my mail box. And talk about perfect timing, because right then, I just didn’t need some help, I needed a lot of help. And not just help, but also other moms coming beside me and telling me that it was going to be okay. That I wasn’t the only one. And that God loved me regardless of those moments when everything seemed flipped upside down and out of control.
You guys, this book is awesome.
I stayed up late reading it (and I confess, I had read it before when it was in galley form so it wasn’t new to me) and I was so touched. It’s powerful to read about the struggles of other moms– moms who have sweet-in-the-middle Sour Patch Kids just like mine– who have turned to God and gotten the help they need in a real way. And I love that Kathi is able to show moms that even though parenting is full of sour moments, there is so much sweetness to be had when we just trust him.
Anyway, I highly recommend that any mom who feels like parenting is too hard, like she can’t quite get it all figured out and that her kids are showing a whole lot of sour and a lot less sweet.