Bedtime was less than perfect.

As can be expected with a 3 year old finding his opinions & wants. There was frustration. Tears. And, a rushed story.

Three is proving to be hard for this family. E is strong willed. And, all boy. Mom & Dad are just looking for him to listen “all the way, right away, with a joyful heart” and to not run and jump on the couch screaming booty. (Y’all true story.)

Quite often when my husband and I get in bed we talk about how much we hate getting at him the way we do. (As I’m sure most parents do, this gig is so hard!!) But, tonight I ignored the urge to overact to the big emotions of a 3 year old and I gave him a present bedtime. It was just me and him reading a story. I gave him a kiss and reminded him how much I love him.

Then, I came to my bedroom to this picture.

My heart utterly melted. This blonde hair blue eyed perfection is MINE! He is so beautiful, obviously. Funny. Kind. And, sooooo loving. His current “Hey mom, I really love you.” But, he’s a little boy learning how to navigate this world. Finding himself.

Ultimately, he’s three. And, that doesn’t mean he’s perfectly well behaved yet. We need to help him learn how. It’s hard. So hard! But, this perfect picture and the love that overwhelms me when I look at it, reminds me how so important it is for me to parent with love. Grace. Kindness. Because, I would absolutely die if my impatience broke him.