Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life...
1 of 8 was an early talker.
And I don't mean that in a competitive, Hollywood mom kind of way.
I just mean the kid talked early.
And she was extremely chatty.
And she was also very petite.
Even at 18 months old, people often mistook her for a much younger baby because of her diminutive size.
Until she began to show off her non-dimunitive vocabulary.
And because 1 of 8 was such an early talker and got to operate as the only child for the first three and a half years of her life, she was my conversational buddy all day long. She began the day talking about her dreams and she continued to stroll verbally through breakfast, laundry, teeth-brushing and hair-doing. Talk, talk, talk.
1 of 8 also came naturally blessed with a very sunny disposition. She, to this day, is a generally happy, outgoing sort. The contexts of our discourses when she was little usually ran along the lines of her delight over butterflies, her adoration of kittens, her pretend friends and her personal take of fairytales. I was quite spoiled to her charming, cheery confabs.
But there came a morning when 1 of 8 woke up on the wrong side of the proverbial, white-eyelet-canopied princess bed. From the moment her feet hit the ground, she whined about the cereal, the color of her toothbrush, the choice of outfit I laid out for her. We loaded up in the car, a list of errands on the dashboard. As I drove us out of the neighborhood and to our varied stops, 1 of 8 continued to gripe about any variety of matters, all in full voice, all with numerous descriptors.
About 30 minutes in, I had had enough. I glanced into the rearview mirror and constructed a bribe for 1 of 8, a chance for her to participate in remediating her own bad attitude. I told her, "You have a choice to make. You can keep whining and we will not stop for a special treat. OORRRRR you can decide to stop whining and we will go through that favorite place of yours under the golden arches and get you a large french fry order for you to enjoy."
1 of 8 carefully considered my offer, her face a study in choices as I watched her from the vantage of the rearview mirror. She rolled her eyes up to the left, put a small finger to her chin, then rolled her eyes to the right. And then she arrived at her answer.
"I think, " she drolled, dragging it out for effect, "I think that I'll just whine."
Whine over french fries. Score whine.
I have those days. I wake up on the wrong side of the king size bed and before my day is barely underway, I have already developed a litany of grouchy grousings. The kitchen is still a mess from the night before, one of the twins has iveserated a stuffed animal and the excavated fluff is snowy in the nursery. I drop my favorite coffee mug and an overflowing trash bin sits in the garage, waving to the garbage truck as it speeds past.
Grouch, whine, whimper, complain.
All before nine a.m.
But God has places for me to go that day, even along the uneven roads of my spiritual path. He gently straps me into my carseat of life and takes the steering wheel, watching my pouting from the rearview mirror.
And He extends me a choice.
Because we are going to run the errands of His will this day. And I can whine all the way. Or I can choose to make the trip a little more pleasant.
Some days I choose the whine.
Some days I choose the french fries.
I can see His eyes twinkle at me from the rearview mirror.
He lets me choose my attittude.
And some days, He sees me grow up a little bit.