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March 8, 2019

The other night I had a meltdown. Seth was in the living room and he heard me crying in the bedroom so I guess I was pretty loud. 

My kids, ages 12 and 14, have gotten into the habit of acting like everything I do is completely lame and awful and embarrassing. I know this is normal for their age, but honestly it hurts my feelings every time. 

I try to sing along to a song on the radio and they say, “No. Never do that again.” 

I try to bring up an inside joke or a line from a movie that we laughed about, and they say, “That’s not even right! Just STOP.” 

I sometimes tell them that they’re being harsh, but I mostly just let it go because it’s supposedly “normal” for middle schoolers.

But a couple nights ago I lost it. I was saying goodnight to Ivy and helping her find all her stuffed animals so she could snuggle into bed and we could say a prayer together. She has this little Rapunzel doll that she calls Punzie, and as I looked under her bed for it I said, “Punzieee…” 

She said, “NO. Never again,” in a disgusted tone.

I said, “I just said Punzie!”

She replied, “It was the way you said it.”

So I went to my room and started sobbing. It may sound dramatic, but I have to say that it just wears on you to have your kids constantly act like you’re foolish. 

Seth came in and and listened to me blubber about how much they make fun of me and tell me to STOP and how Ivy had just hurt my feelings. One of my dear friends has two little ones, ages 1 and 4, and I see how much she pours into them, holding them, chasing them, feeding them, comforting them. Her job as Mom is nonstop. The other night her little baby bonked his head and started to cry, and when she picked him up he snuggled into her neck for comfort like a little Koala. It was so stinkin' cute. My kids used to be just like that, and now to have them turn into these big middle schoolers who think I’m ridiculous really hurts my heart. When they were little I gave them everything. I still do! I rambled on to Seth about all of this. 

Seth marched out of our room to go talk to the kids. A couple minutes later they both came in to hug me and apologize. I told Ivy she had hurt my feelings. She looked sheepish. 

They left my room and I went to bed for the night. My last thought was how grateful I was that Seth defended me. My hero. It made me feel incredibly loved.

The next day I thanked Seth for talking to the kids, and I asked him what he had said to them. He said he got them out of bed and asked them what they heard. I was still crying loudly enough for them to hear. He asked, “How do you think it makes me feel to have someone make my wife feel that way? It makes me upset and angry.” He explained that they had gotten into a terrible habit of making fun of me or putting me down for any little silly thing. He said they act as if I’m embarrassing when I have never actually done one thing to truly embarrass them. He said some kids have parents who do things that are very embarrassing. And that they should be grateful for a mom that doesn’t live in a way that would make them ashamed. He said that the next time they were tempted to say, “STOP…No!...Never again….You said that wrong…NOPE…” that they need to just stop themselves and not even say it. 

You’re probably already thinking this, so I’ll just agree with you: Seth is such a good man! He’s a good husband. And a good dad. And in that moment he was my hero. I needed someone to defend me because I didn’t know how to make the situation right. 

I felt loved and grateful all day whenever I remembered what he had done the night before.  He cared enough to stand up for me!

I wrote this to honor my husband for being awesome, but also to inspire all the rest of us. There are people all around us who need someone to stand up for them. Your spouse. Your child. Someone else's child. Your coworker. A friend. An aging parent. A neighbor. And on a grander scale, the orphans, the homeless, the slaves, the hungry, the unborn, the abused, etc. It only takes a moment of consideration to think of someone who needs a defender. Don’t miss the opportunity to show love by standing up for someone. Be a hero. Not for personal acclaim, but simply for love. 

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”

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