I want to be more like Jesus but you’re getting on my nerves

I want to be more like Jesus but you’re getting on my nerves

I want to be more like Jesus but you’re getting on my nerves 150 150 JJ Landis

I really just wanted time to read and drink my coffee before my day began. Morning is the time of day where I am most creative and thoughtful; and every morning, I crave more minutes with books, Bible, journal, and coffee.

This reflective time is why I wake early – I always plan to exercise at the YMCA and then sit and soak in the calm that comes from silence and soak up the energy that comes from coffee. I want more minutes before kid stuff, work stuff, house stuff clutters my mind and distracts me from all that is peaceful.

When I returned home at 6 this morning from the Y, my dear son was at the table working on his new obsession – the Rubik’s Cube.

He was showered and dressed and had an hour to spare before leaving for school.

I greeted him with a momma kiss on the top of his wet hair and poured some coffee and found my happy place on my office floor where I sit every day to wake up.

I opened a book and took a sip of hot, black coffee. Aaaahhh.

In walked Alex with his Cube wanting to explain to me the algorithm he memorized to partially solve the puzzle.

I am not sure if you can appreciate hearing an explanation from a 12-year-old on how to solve a Rubik’s Cube as he twists and turns the colored squares this way and that. Click click click click. Let’s just say, it’s not something that makes any sense at 6 a.m.

There have been times when I’ve shushed him. Yesterday for instance. Okay, every day. Okay, several times every day. He explains things to me all the time. Shamefully (actually I’m not ashamed, it was awesome) I even made a fake mommy head for him to talk to a few years ago when he wouldn’t shut up about Minecraft.

But he’s just so darn sincere and adorable and determined. Once in a while I am a decent human being and I listen to him. But usually I am mean.

As soon as he finished his description of whatever it was, he scooted back out to the kitchen and I returned to my inner peace and all that.

He poured a bowl of Cheerios and came back to me. He sat himself up on my unused desk chair (I was sprawled out on the floor with all my “wake up and pray and think and learn how to be a good person” supplies).

So now imagine a kid on a rolling, swivel chair on a wood floor in the early-morning quiet when the rest of the family is in bed. Picture an adolescent boy twitching and fidgeting in the chair. Listen to the wheels as they roll back and forth with his every move.

Now put a bowl of cereal in that kid’s hands and listen to him chew and slurp milk. As he continues to move in the chair. Chew, slurp, roll.

Now listen to him chatter as he does this. Chew, slurp, talk, roll, chew slurp, talk, roll.

It’s got all the makings of a Mom Explosion: “Can you PLEASE take that into the kitchen and let me finish being peaceful? Please! I’m trying to learn how to be a better person here. I want to be MORE LIKE JESUS but you’re getting on my nerves! How am I supposed to have quiet time when you’re inches from me slurping your milk?!?”

Before the building outburst came to fruition though, he stopped. He looked at me and said, “Wait. You don’t like to hear me eat cereal, do you? I forgot.” And he stood up to walk back to the kitchen.

Time froze and I had a choice to make.

“NO!” I yelled. “STAY!”

Just like that, the blinders fell from my eyes. Thankfully.

I said to him, “If my 7th grade son wants to be in the same room as me just to be near me, he is welcome. Please don’t leave. I love being near you.”

He sat back down and finished his breakfast while explaining something or other to do with Dr. Who or Minecraft or The Maze Runner or his German teacher. And then he told me how he’ll resume his “soda tab” project (which is currently all over my office floor – picture 1,000 soda tabs/pop tops on the carpet next to me) once he cracks the Rubik’s Cube.

When he left to get his backpack and brush his teeth, I went to the kitchen for a second cup of coffee. My daughter made her first appearance of the day and asked me to please pack her lunch and could she wear my sweatshirt and did you know that they teach too many sports in PE and they should spend more time on overall health and she doesn’t want to go to work on Friday and Saturday and she may have to stay all night with a friend this weekend to practice music…

As much as I could while I packed her lunch, I looked her in the eyes as she spoke and I listened.


JJ Landis

JJ Landis is the author of "Some Things You Keep." She is a librarian in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and three children. She blogs about parenting, marriage, and getting through the day at jjlandis.com.

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