I would have been the jerk mom who looked down her nose at you for your inability to properly raise your kid - and by "properly" you know I mean the way I do it.
Except I gave birth to The B.
I would have had all the answers and all of the suggestions. If you would just . . . He only needs . . . You should . . . Well you cant . . .
Except I parent The B.
I would have raised my eyebrows at you in the store and maybe even gossiped about you later.
Except I shop with The B.
I would have said "Oh I get it. I totally understand. My kid can be hard too. But when he . . . I just . . ."
Except I am charged with disciplining The B.
I don't know about your kid. I don't know his quirks. I don't know his particular issues. I might offer suggestions - things I've heard, things I've tried, maybe even things we've had success with - BUT slap me hard in the face if I EVER sound like I think I could parent your kid better than you do.
God gave your kid to you. I can't see you once a week, or see one incident in a public place, and assume I know what you deal with 24/7 and how you should address it.
I know this, because I am mom to The B.
I also know this - some of our kids' most challenging traits will become their biggest assets. With the right heart, The B's persistence, his wit, his strong will, his quick mind, his ability to know what buttons to push on any given person, his boldness, his incessant inquisitiveness - these will be assets.
These traits will make him a world changer - something he's already planning to be.
I parent one of the most challenging kids I've ever met. I know many are harder, and The B has days where he's a breeze and a joy. But ours is not a smooth journey. Some days I find my only hope in the idea I might at least influence him to be a benevolent dictator when he takes over the world.
But EVERY day I thank God for this particular kid.
He has taught me I don't have all the answers. And I'm starting to be okay with that.