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Jesus Didn’t Parent Toddlers: A Love Letter to the Parents of Littles

My little guys

Parents of Preschoolers and Toddlers, this season is the real deal, isn’t it?  You are in the t-r-e-n-c-h-e-s.

When my guys were preschoolers, I had to have them out the door by 9:00am, or the house would surely crumble around us.  I was sure of it, and my theory was fairly proven.

And now, this whole situation of having no parks, no library story hour, no play dates, and limited diapers?  You guys.  My young men are now teenagers and they sleep a lot, which is one of my life’s saving graces.  Honestly, I remember the hard days, and I’m feeling for you.

Here is a throwback to my days in the trenches, and that was with access to libraries, parks, playgrounds, and the mall.

Consider this a love letter, directly written to you.  If I could, I’d send it with iced lattes and Target gift cards.  That is how much I love you.

~ ~ ~

Jesus Didn’t Parent Toddlers

In his perfect holiness, he did not do what I have done today.

Today sucked. Forgive me if you do not like that term. But it did. No way around it.

My boys were disobedient and whiny. I was out of patience and fortitude. We were plain sick of each other. This house (and the surrounding parks) were not big enough for the three of us. There was yelling, whining, snapping, and crying, among all parties. I did not behave as I would have hoped. But neither did they.

I called in reinforcements. Friends prayed for me. I bought – and pleasurably drank – a mocha. And I called on all the Scripture I could recall to please, please, get me through the morning. Carry me to naptime.

And that’s when it suddenly occurred to me: Jesus did not parent toddlers. Yes, he withstood and refused temptations of many kinds, of his eyes, his stomach, his flesh. But of all the paths he walked that are ours as well, he was not the stay-at-home parent of preschoolers.

When he escaped the throngs and pursued solitude with his Father, he did not have to arrange for childcare.

When he fasted, he did not have to prepare meals for picky eaters.

“Let the little children come to me,” he said. But he could send them home when he was finished teaching them. And when they fell into tantrums in his presence, I’m pretty sure their mothers swooped in to avoid a public scene.

“Be holy as I am holy.” In his holiness, he did not do the day-in-day-out constantness of arguing, negotiating, potty training, timeouts, scraped knees, lessons in sharing, and weary exhaustion with their little sinful natures.

But he did give these children to me.

And he ordained today.

And his grace is sufficient.

(And they are sleeping now. Thank you, Lord.)

~ ~ ~

(I’d now like to add this understanding from my current life stage:

He did, however, disciple teenage young men who were forever hungry, sleepy, and arguing over who was his favorite.)


Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. That last line: Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

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