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What an Instagram Picture Won’t Tell You

Our oldest turned thirteen a few weeks ago, and we had a handful of his friends over for the night.Before we served his favorite dessert, Andy asked the guys to lay hands on him, while he prayed over him.It was a sweet moment watching the guys giggle through the intimate moment as Andy prayed.I snapped a picture because well…it seemed like a moment I might want to hold onto forever.

I posted it to Instagram later that night, but the whole thing stirred something up in my heart.

I didn’t do it, but I found myself wanting to explain that this picture wasn’t entirely representative of our family.

Of course, if you were to hang out with us for ten minutes, you’d know it,

but most people who read aren’t people who know us.

I started thinking about how many times I’ve looked at someone else’s pictures and assumed everything was perfect.

The problem with pictures on any form of social media

 is that they don’t tell the whole story.

So much is left to be assumed in a picture,

and lets face it, we all assume everyone else’s picture looks a little more perfect than ours.
What I wouldn’t give to show you a picture of a parenting moment that Instagram missed.

I’ll try to paint the picture clear enough for you because it’s one you’ll want to file away for a rainy day.

My dear friend from college, Kate, came to visit from California over the weekend.

She and I were standing in my kitchen with one of my children, and I asked him to do something for me.

Who knows what I asked him to do because what came next has jarred my memory.

He got a big grin on his face {the kind of big grin that I know will most likely cause him some trouble}

and without hesitation or reservation, he said, “Gimme a second, Hussie.”

My eyes got wide, my nostrils flared, my jaws locked, and I’m fairly certain my head started spinning.

I’ve never had an out-of-body-experience, but this had to be as close as I’ll ever get.

 My words were frozen, so I pointed to his room, and he instinctively knew to turn and walk there, just as quickly as his legs would carry him.

I stood in the kitchen and put my face in my hands and began to cry.

I felt Embarrassed. Shocked. Mortified. Did I mention embarrassed?  Oh okay, just making sure.

Who of us ever wants these moments to happen much less be displayed for anyone else to see?

I can tell you…None of us and especially not me.

These kind of moments make you want to retreat and hide out.

Ironically, I write a blog called between you & me,where I attempt to share life authentically,

and God gave me an opportunity to practice it in real time.

The thing about authenticity is that it kind of requires you to share not only the the beauty-filled moments

but also some of the moments that make you want to crawl under a rock.

Here’s the “take away” for any of you out there who kept reading after you read that my kid called me a hussie….
Those moments in parenting that make you want to crawl under a rock…the ones that you wish no one had to see or know about..those that you want to hide from a world that might judge..
those are the ones best lived in the light.
  While I was still crying a river, Kate broke out into hysterical laughter.
 I didn’t know what to do with her laughter, so I joined her, and we laughed until we both cried.
She graciously shared some of her “crawl under a rock” moments in parenting, and we both sighed with relief knowing we get to journey through this together with our families.
Eventually, I went to my son and was able to see the situation for what it was;
a pre-adolescent boy using a word that he had actually heard from me. {ouch}
We kissed and hugged and cried and God’s grace poured over us like an ocean.
Life was meant to be Shared!!!
ps. My sweet boy had no idea what the word “hussie” means.  {This has to be a plus.}
pss.   I’m mortified that he heard it from me, when I jokingly called my friend one. {they’re listening to everything!}
psss. He is gladly removing it from his vocabulary now that he knows it’s a bad word. {good choice.}
pssss. I’ll be trying to remove it from mine, too.  {need to practice what I preach!}
psssss. Would you believe this all happened after we got home from church, while Andy was still there?

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  1. Oh they just get us with our own swords, don’t they? Thanks for sharing this and being willing to be real about your embarrassment. We’ve aaaaaaaall been there, sometimes more publicly. 🙂

  2. As the friend you call Hussie I love this story!!! THere is always a back story and there is always a chance to teach and learn on boht ends.

    1. this cracked me up. i feel like i need to use the word hussie more often. it has cracked me up today.

  3. Sorry, I had to laugh, even if it mortified you at the time. It reminds me of when my daughter was in elementary school and tried out a joke she heard – it included a maie body part. I was horrified and felt like crying. She had no idea what it meant!

  4. Oh girl this is such a good story. I love the real here cause life is not all candy coated and perfect. So glad ya’ll made up and love reigned. See I might have yelled or something irrational. Good job momma.

  5. Did your friend manage to withhold her guffaws until the offending party was out of the room? Because I certainly would NOT have been able to contain it! I busted up as soon as I read it! Gotta love boys. My word. I love this story.

  6. Oh how I love this post! It’s funny how people see a picture and think that life must be like that…. perfect every second of every day. I once had a girl (that I knew in high school) email me and ask how and what we do to have a perfect marriage. She saw pictures I posted on facebook and told me that we were always so happy and she couldn’t imagine my hubs and I ever having a fight. HA! Like I’m going to post a picture of us having a fight 🙂 I ran into her a few days later and told her that we had just as many hard times as any other couple!

    I admit that I’m nervous to have my baby grow up. What will she learn from her daddy and mommy? How will dad and mom react when baby girl swears for the first time. Or disrespects us. Or wants to know where babies come from?! Ah!

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