facing reality: my kid hates me

It’s easy to pretend things are a certain way when you can’t see the reality of the situation, when you don’t permit your mind to go there. Sure, you have thoughts and ideas of how things are, but then reality comes along and slaps you in the face.

Until this point, I had no idea how bad it was.

You spend a good portion of your adult life pouring yourself and everything you have into someone just to have them hate you. You all know what I mean, I’m talking about our kids… I’ve often heard it said that if your child doesn’t hate you at some point then you aren’t doing a good job as a parent. I guess I can take comfort in that.

Look, I’ve already explained that I made mistakes as a parent. I know I’ve learned from those mistakes and because of them, I am a much better person and mom. But, at some point, your child (especially your adult child) must take responsibility for his actions and choices. He can’t spend the rest of his life blaming others for his current situation. And his situation, as much as he wants to pretend isn’t, is disastrous.

Truth Time: My kid is in trouble and he has no one watching out for him. After being separated from the Army, he moved back home. Two months of rules, which included paying rent and keeping a job, he decided it was too much responsibility. He made the choice to move in with his biological mother. We have been able to keep tabs, so to speak, on him through social media. We’ve seen the way that he is living and it breaks our hearts, especially because we know there’s nothing we can do. I chose to stop looking, not because I didn’t care, but because I cared too much. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

You’d like to believe that, wouldn’t you?! Your children are never out of your mind and are a continuous source of worry. But again, there is only so much you can do. I believe we gave the same opportunities to each one of our children. Opportunities to succeed in life and better themselves. They had choices and they had consequences to those choices. Those consequences could be good or bad, based on their decisions. Make a good decision, be rewarded. Make a bad decision and face the repercussions. By no means were our punishments out of the norm. Grounding, taking away electronics, etc; if that is enough to make you the world’s worst parent in the eyes of your child, then so be it.

My son hates me for wanting a better life for him. I had to accept that.

I was okay with him feeling the way he did about me, but to attack his siblings… that’s a completely different matter. And one I was not prepared to deal with.

Reality Hits Home: A friend of my youngest ran into his brother yesterday. The conversation went something like this:

  • S: You’re my brother’s friend, right?
  • C: Yes
  • S: F*** that guy.
  • C: You came over here to tell me that?
  • S: Nah man, but f*** him and that whole family. That whole family is a façade. F*** them.
  • C: What?
  • S: I heard he’s trying to get in the military.
  • C: He’s already enlisted, so he’s in.
  • S: Oh well, he’s just trying to one up me. F*** him.
  • C: What is the point of this conversation?
  • S: You know, man, just that whole family is f***** up and it’s all a façade.
  • C: O….K…
  • C walks away scratching his head, calls D to fill him in.

Now, the reaction of my other kids didn’t surprise me. They’ve been numb to this kind of thing for a while now. I guess lots of practice from dealing with previous similar situations. They went through feelings of sadness at the loss of one mom and now the loss of their brother, but they have been extremely resilient. So the reaction to this latest attack was laughter. They knew none of it was true so why give any validation to it?

I could learn a thing or ten from my two youngest. I really should have just blown it off and laughed, like they did.

But, y’all know that isn’t me… I had to over analyze every word and try to figure out the whys. If I could dissect every aspect of this conversation, I could find a way to fix everything.

First, I was heartbroken. Hate me all you want, but your brother and sister did nothing to you. Once the heartbreak passed, the anger hit. Anger, that’s something I’ve struggled with all my life. I get angry and then I want vengeance. Someone hurts me or my family and I want to punish them and make them hurt just as much. But, not this time. I know S is suffering. I know he’s not happy with the way things are and I know he has to want more out of life. So rather than be angry with him, I am choosing to pray. I will pray for him to figure out what’s important in life and to change his ways so he can accomplish and acquire those things. I will continue to have hope for him, the same way I have been hoping his mother would improve her situation over the last twelve years. I have hope that things will change and they will be happy and that maybe one day, we will be able to mend our relationships.

In the meantime, I will find pleasure in watching my youngest son and my daughter flourish. I will take pride in their accomplishments. I will continue to watch them work hard to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. Goals that will allow them to be productive members of society, goals that will allow them to be happy.

After all, that’s what every parent wants for their kids, right?

 

 

 

breaking the cycle

As you know, if you’ve been following and reading my blog for a while, there wasn’t much laughter in my childhood. When you grow up the way I did, It’s easy to become damaged. It’s easy to grow into an adult with low self esteem, believing you are totally worthless. And, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to make your own children believe the same thing.

Yes, you heard me right. After all, how do you learn to parent? How do you know how to discipline your children, how to encourage them? If your parents brought you chicken noodle soup when you were sick, wouldn’t that be what you’d give your child if they were sick? Why? Because, we are trained to believe that the way our parents raise us is the right way. Even if their way makes us feel, well, less than loved; we still think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Have you ever heard the saying, “The abused becomes the abuser?” It sounds absurd, right? I can remember saying that I would never treat my kids the way I was treated when I was growing up. And unfortunately, I had picked up some pretty bad habits. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I was even a fraction of the meanster (yes, that’s how I saw it) that I grew up with. But, I will admit that in my attempts to make my children understand the depths of their mistakes, I know I went a little too far. I can remember my husband saying to me, “Remember how you felt when your dad talked to you that way?” Stupid… that’s exactly how I would feel. And I remember the first time one of my kids told me that I made them feel stupid. And the first time wasn’t the last. Something had to change.

I had to break the cycle. And I did.

Now, I am not trying to make excuses. I am just saying that I didn’t know any better. I can assure you and I hope you know me well enough to believe that I am not the type of person that is mean because I enjoy it. There are truly some sick people who actually find pleasure in seeing others suffer. That is definitely not me. My kids know that I have always wanted what is best for them. I just went about it the wrong way… in the beginning.

I had to re-learn what a parent was supposed to be. I had to learn to accept constructive criticism from my husband. It wasn’t easy, I had to realize that it was okay for him to tell me when I was wrong because he was doing it for my good. He wasn’t putting me down for my shortcomings. He wasn’t trying to make me feel stupid. He was trying to help and thank God, it worked!

With my husband’s help, my children’s patience and with God given wisdom, I became a phenomenal mom. I am absolutely far from perfect, any one of my kids could attest to that, but they know that I want the best for them. I want them to be better than I ever was. Even after all the mistakes I have made, my kids will never have to question if they are loved. I believe that makes me a successful mom, if nothing more.

 

 

D*I*V*O*R*C*E

Once upon a time; long, long ago… lived a beautiful princess. And that’s about where the fairy tale ends.

I was married once before. I was nineteen years old, young and stupid. I actually thought I was in love. In truth, I believe I was more in love with the idea of being in love. We had a big wedding, four hundred or so guests. A reception that would have been fit for a king. It was a day long event that started with beauty appointments and brunch and ended with dancing the night away. There I was, in my beautifully long, flowing, white dress. All eyes were on me; I was lavished with attention and I just ate it up. I savored the sweet, flavorful taste, that lasted about twelve hours.

And then the party was over and real life set in.

for_better_or_for_worse_by_northgeorgiatattoos-d5u2ko8

I’m not going to go into great detail about the problems in my first marriage that ultimately led to my divorce. I will say that I tried to make it work, for four long years, I tried. I didn’t believe in divorce, until it became a reality.

I tried ‘playing the field,’ but that just wasn’t me. I wasn’t the dating type. I was the girlfriend type. So, for the next eleven years, I was in three long-term relationships. I just couldn’t seriously consider marriage again and the reason will probably surprise you. When I would think about getting married, my thoughts would always lead to a) if it doesn’t work out, there’s always divorce and b) it’s so easy to get divorced. There it is, the sad truth and it’s still sad today.

divorce

Our society has made it so easy to get divorced. From easyfastdivorce.com to one day divorce or separation by phone 1-877-***-****. Of course, when I got divorced almost twenty years ago, it was a little more difficult. It only cost $325.00 and took six months (only because that was the law of the state). The thought process being that if you waited six months, you might change your mind. It didn’t work on me. Now that waiting period is no longer mandatory. In my state, your divorce can be granted within twenty days after filing. Yep, that’s the problem with society today. Sin is so easily acceptable and therefore so readily available.

Whatever happened to ’til death do us part?’ I understand that, in certain circumstances, divorce is necessary. What I don’t understand is how people place such a small value on the vows that they make to each other. Look, I know I once broke my vows too. My only excuse is that I was young and I don’t think I truly understood what I was vowing to do, but I learned from that mistake. I didn’t get married again until I understood that it meant forever. Divorce is not an option for me. Unfortunately, there are those that feel it is an easy fix for their marriage. As soon as things get a little tough, it’s easier to run than to fight for the relationship.

Look, I don’t know the ins and outs of everyone’s marriage. All I’m saying is that I wish people would think before they get married and think twice before they consider divorce. When two people break up, they are not the only two people that their divorce affects.

divorce-effects-children

 

 

 

The Real Mom

I can still remember the conversation that we had almost five years ago. My oldest son had just turned eighteen and was preparing to start his career in the Army. We had just finished a three mile run together and were walking to cool down. I stopped him mid-stride and asked him if we could talk.

“I’m sorry,” I began, “if you thought I was too hard on you.”

He turned to me and said, “Mama, you don’t have to be sorry. I know you just wanted and still want what’s best for me.”

use this one heartWhen my kids were younger, I used to have this fear. I think at some point, all stepmothers have the same one. One day, one of the children that you love as your own will turn and look at you and shout, “You’re not my real mom!” Of course, you know it’s just out of anger and/or disappointment and they don’t really mean it. But, it doesn’t matter. The words prick at your heart like a thorny rose. And once said, they cannot be unheard and you cannot stop your heart from breaking.

 

It’s been nine and a half months since we’ve spoken. I tried to reach out to him, several times, but he will not respond. It hurts. You have no idea how much it hurts. I continue to pray for him, every day, I pray that he’s happy and healthy. He’s with his real mom now.  I hope she’s watching out for him… like I used to do.

 

 

 

 

search me: count it all joy

Saying goodbye to 2016, I’ve had a lot of thoughts. This year was full of great things, terrible things, unexpected things and things that make you go hmmm. Let’s recap, shall we?

At the end of 2015, I was looking forward to a great new year. It didn’t start off that way. I got a terrible sinus infection after Christmas and it lasted well into the second week of January. But, once I was over that, I was ready to get the new year going.

My daughter graduated high school in June. She started college in August; this meant she’d have to move into the dorm. This was a requirement for all freshmen, even if we only live twenty minutes from campus.

My youngest son got his license and his first job this year. Considering his grades are pretty good, he’s also been given quite a bit of freedom. He spends a lot of time with his friends, but also enjoys hanging at home with his family.

My oldest son came home from his Army duty station in Germany.

My husband and I stepped down as youth leaders at our church.

Finally, I worked up the nerve to tell my family exactly how I feel about… well, everything.

These are some of what I would call highlights and lowlights of my 2016 year. Although some of the low points were pretty low, I still count it all joy. I think I’m able to do that because I know that God has a plan. Even if His plan includes what I would consider negative things, there is a purpose for it.

My daughter moved out and I missed her terribly (yes, she was only twenty minutes away) because I was used to seeing her every day. She came home quite a bit, but when she wasn’t around, I learned to make time for myself. The time that I would usually spend with her, whether we were just talking or watching our favorite TV show, I now spent on writing or praying or just thinking.

My youngest son got his license and I worried. I worried so much that I would make him text me as soon as he got to school, when he was leaving, when he got home. That started in March. What did I learn? I learned to trust in God. I strengthened my faith by praying. I spent more time in His Word and learning about how He was in control. I learned to worry less and trust Him more.

My oldest son came home from Germany. To me, this was the biggest ‘lowlight’ of the year. He had always struggled with being responsible, being an adult and making logical decisions; one of the reasons he got out of the army in the first place. It was a big adjustment when he came home. It was as if the last three years hadn’t happened, nothing had changed. He only lasted two months with us before he moved in with his biological mother. Now, I honestly have no idea what’s going on in his life. This wasn’t just another lesson in worry. I’ve learned patience. I believe that there is nothing I can do to ‘fix’ him or his life. God will do that, in His own time.

I told my family how I felt about my childhood. I told them about the misery I endured. I told them about things I had never talked about before. My lesson here is forgiveness. Once I let it all out, I was able to forgive. I, by no means forgot about anything and they definitely didn’t ask for forgiveness, but I had to give it. Now, I am at peace with the way things are. I don’t have a relationship with them and that’s ok. It’s hard to forgive someone for something when they continue to do the same things they should be sorry for, but I did it. I just cannot have them in my life and I’m ok with that.

My husband and I have been the interim youth pastor and leader at our church for the last year and seven months. We learned a lot, but we felt it was time to step down. I feel God is ready to use me in other areas of our church. I am looking forward to the way God is going to move in our church in 2017.

It’s important to learn from the bad and appreciate the good things that happen in your life. Treasure the ones closest to you. Reach out to the ones not so close. Share the love of Christ. Do the right thing, even when nobody is looking. Find your peace in knowing you are a good person and that God loves you.

I am looking forward to 2017 – with God, all things are possible!

via Daily Prompt: Treasure

search me: seeking acceptance

Does a person’s culture affect or influence the way they display affection or emotions? I know that sounds like a strange question, but I’m curious to know what you think.

Allow me to elaborate. There are some who say that men shouldn’t cry because it shows weakness. Why are men not allowed to show affection and emotion? Who came up with that standard of measuring manliness? Let’s look at this another way; I promise I have a point. I should probably just throw it out there…

When I was growing up, in my family, I spent a lot of time trying to gain acceptance from my father. I was an over achiever, perfectionist and… an emotional basketcase. It seemed like no matter what I did, it wasn’t good enough. He never saw anything good in me. At least, if he did, he never told me about it. I can only remember him saying ‘I’m proud of you’ to me one time in my life. I was thirty two years old. My dad wasn’t affectionate either. I honestly think I blocked out a lot of memories, but I definitely remember a lot of awkward hugs as a kid. As an adult, I remember one-sided hugs. I would put my arms around him and he would just stand there. It sounds strange, I know, it felt worse than strange. Saying ‘I love you’ was even harder for him. I don’t remember hearing that much at all.

My mom was a completely different story. She was extremely affectionate and she wore her emotions on her sleeve. That has to be where I get it from. We were close, always.

My parents come from two different cultures. So, I often wonder, does that have anything to do with their differences regarding the affection or lack there of that they showed me. I tend to think it’s a possibility because I remember the way their parents were. Actually, I only remember my two grandmothers. My paternal grandmother had a hard time being affectionate and my maternal grandmother was the opposite. Are the traits of our parents’ cultures passed on to us? If so and we are raised by parents of different cultures, which traits are dominant? Why did I become an affectionate and emotional person like my mother instead of a cold and unemotional person like my father?

Here’s that honesty thing again… I pose these questions because I still struggle with the fact that I have never and probably will never be good enough for my father. Because this fact hurts so much, I have always distanced myself from him. I have only engaged in contact with him when absolutely necessary. You know, holidays, birthdays, etc. I have only spent time with him two or three times a year for as long as I can remember. A few months ago, we had a disagreement. Since then, I have completely cut off communication with him, along with some other members of my family. I try to pretend that I’m ok with it, but… I guess I’m not. I’m still angry and extremely hurt. And I’m wondering where to go from here…

I’ve discussed this situation with some of my closest friends. They’ve given me some pretty good advice and convinced me to follow it. My idea was to pretend like my dad didn’t exist. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But what does this solve? I had decided to love him from afar. I’ve forgiven him, but that doesn’t mean I have to allow him to be a part of my life. Not that he’d even want to be, but…

My friends made some good points and that’s why I’ve decided to take their advice. I will reach out to my dad. I will show him love, the same love that my Father in Heaven shows me, even when I do not deserve it. However, I am not completely ready to let my guard down. I am not sure I’ll ever be able to open myself up to that kind of pain again, but he will know I love him. I just cannot allow him to be in my life just yet. It’s possible I may never be ready for that, but at least he will see that I do have love for him.

My dad is always in my prayers. I also pray that God changes my heart towards my dad. I pray that He helps me get over the hurt and pain so that, maybe one day, we can have a relationship again.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13

via Daily Prompt: Culture

search me: a mother’s fear

One of my biggest fears, when it comes to my children, has always been that their past would catch up to them. I know it sounds stupid, how much of a past could they have. I guess I should clarify, when I say past, I mean their biological mom. I’ve always had this fear that her hold on them would be strong enough for her to pull them down to where she is. I used to think that if their father and I raised them up the right way, this wouldn’t be a possibility. I was wrong. Of course, now that it has happened, I can say that it’s not her fault. Our oldest son is now a man. He makes his own choices and will have to deal with the consequences of those choices. And I will have to learn to accept his decisions and the fact that I cannot fix everything for him.

He made the decision to go live with her. I guess it’s for the best. At least for our current household. His brother and sister do not think it’s a good idea for him to move back in. Their father and I completely understand where they are coming from. The house just wasn’t… peaceful once he moved back home. Does this mean it’s God’s plan that he is where he is? Sigh… how do I just walk away?

His brother, sister and I packed up his things this week. Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving, he asked us to bring his stuff to his grandfather’s house. The first thing my other kids asked was ‘will she be there?’ They didn’t want to see their mother. We made an agreement that since she had to drive him there, she would not come outside of the house while we were there.

When we pulled up, he came out and I was a little shocked. He looked like a completely different person. We saw him before we even got out of the truck and his brother and sister were just as shocked by his appearance as I was. His hair was long and scraggly an he had a patchy beard. It looked like he hadn’t shaved in a month. The first thought I had was that he looked like a homeless person. Once we unloaded the truck and everything was stacked by the house, we stood outside and talked. I wanted to get an idea of how he’d been. I gave him a hug. Immediately, the first thing I noticed was a pungent odor. It could only be described as marijuana mixed with mildew. I say mildew because that’s what I think of when I imagine wet clothes that have been sitting for days. His brother and sister would later explain that he smelled like the trailer that he is living in. I’m sure I have shared the conditions of his current living space already. If you need a reminder, let me mention the rat infested oven and the fridge sitting on the front porch. I guess I should be thankful because when I asked my son how he was doing, his response was, “I have a place to sleep, a roof over my head and food to eat, what more do I need?” All I could think was ‘Is this all you want out of life?’ A dirty place to live and sleep and fast food and pizza every night.

I found out several things that day. Things I didn’t know about my son’s time in the army. I didn’t realize that there was a lot of alcohol and illegal drugs and girls. I was shocked to discover that he did pretty much the opposite of everything we taught him.

I really feel like he is settling for what he has so that he can be with his mom. Like I’ve said before, I completely understand that want and need. She is, after all, his biological mother. They have about ten years of catching up to do. I believe he would settle for just about anything to maintain that relationship, no matter how unhealthy it is. I just really want more for him, but I cannot make him want more for himself.

I’ll continue to pray for him and her. I have to remember that God has a plan for everyone. If this is His plan, I will trust that something good will come out of it. In the meantime, I will try my best to not worry. I have to let go and let God.

 

 

search me: a childless mother

First of all, I know it’s the day after Thanksgiving and I promise I am not already griping about what I don’t have. I am completely sated with my family life. I have been blessed with an amazing husband, two children that I think are absolutely incredible and a third child that is struggling with life, but I couldn’t love him more. Just in case you’re confused between the title of this post and what I just said, let me remind you that I didn’t give birth to any of my kids, but they are mine in every other sense. I love my family with all my heart!

Let me also remind you, before I continue, that I promised in my ‘search me’ blog that I was going to be completely honest. I believe that by doing this, actually writing/typing out my thought and feelings, I can also be honest with myself. I know that this will make me face some harsh realities and by doing so, will help me grow as a person and a Christian. 

Let’s talk about babies! Remember, when I became a mom, my kids were already past the baby and toddler stage. Since my husband already had three of his own, we talked about whether or not I should or wanted to have one of my own. He was on board with whatever I decided. He told me he thought that I would regret it if I didn’t have one of my own, but back then, I was just adjusting to having the three with us full time. I definitely had my hands full and I’ll admit the thought of having a baby, at that time, was overwhelming. Three years later, we talked about it again. By then, our youngest was ten and I thought that would be a huge age gap and did I want to start all over again? I mean, all our kids would be out of the house or in college in eight years. Again, that thought was a bit overwhelming. Three more years went by and I was finally ready. Our family was doing so well and I had just begun my walk with Jesus. Now, I thought, I’m ready. I went to my doctor for my annual and my diabetes check up and blood work. Five days later, I got my results. I was in peri menopause, this means I was at the end of my reproductive years. Further tests showed I had already gone through premature ovarian failure. There was no way for me to conceive a child. I should probably mention that I was only thirty six years old. I guess that is old to consider having a baby this day and time. 

I went through the normal stages of ‘grief.’ I grieved the loss of possibility. I denied it wasn’t possible for me to have a baby. I thought the doctors or tests were wrong. I grew angry because I couldn’t have a baby. I was a good person, why is God punishing me? I bargained with Him saying ‘If you make this possible, I will do (insert anything I could think of at the time). I was depressed because I knew I would never give birth to a baby of my own. I forgot or was too sad to think about how I already had three wonderful children who loved me. Finally, I accepted the fact that having a child of my own would never happen. Once I accepted it, I remembered how wonderful my life already was. The grieving process took some time, but I finally knew I wasn’t being punished. God has a reason and a plan for everything. If I’m not meant to experience pregnancy and child birth and raising a baby from newborn to adulthood, He has a reason for that. I will trust Him.

Why bring this all up now? Because, like always, when a friend announces a new pregnancy; it reminds me of my situation. It causes a brief pang of sadness for what’s never to be. When this happens, I think about it. I feel sad. I feel guilty for feeling sad when God has blessed me with so much. Finally, I pray. I ask for forgiveness and I give Him praise and thanks for being all He is and blessing me with all He has. 

God has blessed me with awesome friends with incredible children. I am so thankful to have them all in my life. To those friends, I say thank you for allowing me to love your children. And to the three of you who announced pregnancies this week, I say congratulations. I already love the little ones in your tummies and I can’t wait to meet them!

search me: a mother’s choice

As I watch him from afar, I realize he has no strength to go against you and I know that he does not want to. After all these years and everything that has happened, his loyalty still lies with you. I wish I could trust you to do the right thing with that loyalty. I truly understand how hard this is for you, as a mother myself; the choice between your head and your heart is a difficult one. Do you let him continue his pretentious behavior because you know it will keep you in his favor? Or do you explain to him that his being ostentatious is not necessary to stay in your life?

The last few years, he’s maintained that he doesn’t agree with the way you are living. As a matter of fact, he was adamant that he did not want to live with you. Yet, there he is, exactly where he said he never wanted to be. Let me say that I also understand his decision. You have been absent from his life for the majority of the last ten years. Before that, you had a bond that you thought could never be severed. It was definitely put to the test, but needlessly to say, it has never been broken. The fact that he is there with you now, is proof of that.

You may not believe this, but I’ve always wanted you to be a part of all of their lives. Unfortunately, your decisions and choices made that impossible. Now they are old enough to make the decision for themselves. Two have taken their stand and decided that it is in their best interest to not allow you back in. He has made his decision as well and I don’t fault him for it. He is thinking with his heart and again, that is understandable. But I implore you, do not do more damage than has already been done. He has what he wants now, he has you. I just ask that you guard his heart as I have done during your absence. I ask that you watch over him and encourage him to make the right decisions for his life. We both know that he is not where he needs to be as an adult. We know that he cannot make decisions that are best for him. We know that he needs guidance. I ask that you do your best to guide him in the right direction. I ask that you remind him that we, his other family, still love him and want what is best for him; just as I ensured him that you loved him when you were not able to. I ask that you do right by our child.

I will now let him go, I will leave him in your hands. I do so with a heavy heart, because I have no choice. I will leave both of you in God’s hands because that gives me peace.

Solomon’s Wise Judgement

Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him. And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house. And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, whileyour maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.” Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son and the dead one is your son.” And the first woman said, No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” thus they spoke before the king. And the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives and your son is the dead one’, and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one and my son is the living one.” The the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.” Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child and by no means kill him!” But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but devide him.” So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.” And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice. – 1 Kings 3:16-28

via Daily Prompt: Ostentatious