{This is day two of a 31 day series, 31 Days of Daily Grace. Find all posts in this series here.}

Last night I took my two oldest daughters to the One Direction concert here in Atlanta. When an event generates this kind of anticipation—and I’m talking about within my own home, not city-wide—drama tends to follow and harmony becomes difficult to achieve.

With my girls at the One Direction concert #1DAtlanta #5SOS #OneDirectionThe girls wanted new clothes for the concert and apparently my husband made the stipulation that they needed to be nice to me. Clothes bought; one daughter fails to keep the bargain; clothes confiscated by dad. (Strike one.)

My daughters believed I needed to watch the 1D movie before the concert and of course, I put it off until the last minute, on a day when our always-sketchy internet failed us until minutes before we needed to leave and this 31 days series needed to launch.

I made my graphic and monthly calendar, so those were ready, but I needed to post. The kids needed the internet for research and to write their school papers in Google docs. The minute hand ticked as the time approached when we should leave.

I was stressed out and about to have a meltdown. You’ve probably been there, too. (Strike two)

Traffic was surprisingly swift and then we took the public transit train downtown. We bought t-shirts and ate concession food and spent over five hours in the GA Dome with 70,000 screaming fans. I enjoyed the concert, although it’s not one I would attend without my girls, but this night wasn’t about me.

We didn’t make it home until after 1 a.m. and as tired as we were, we were also wired. At 2 a.m., my oldest daughter texted “Just had the best night of my entire existence” on the group chat shared by my two oldest girls, my husband and I, and two of our older boys who no longer live at home. Moments later, the other daughter replied, “Same.”

It’s not every day you can give someone such a gift. The higher the anticipation, the higher the potential for conflict. Expect it. My daughter learned a lesson about actions and consequences, and we all extended each other a measure of grace.

Mother/child relationships can be crazy difficult, but we can’t give up. There’s too much at stake. They need us, even if—no, especially if—they don’t realize it.

Do you remember a time when you worked hard to achieve precious harmony with your children?

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