I wish I could have taken a picture or recorded a video. It was a priceless moment.
Almost all day today, The Boy, for lack of a better term, was listless. We went to the playground and he moped around. I’m one of those relentless moms who keeps asking, “What’s wrong with you?” Sorry, all you great moms who gentle check your kids temperature and say things like, “Show, mamma where it hurts.” I’m just not that mom. He poked around all day. He’s a pokey kind of kid (I have a deep belief that God gave me a child who is pokey to slow me down because I typically have one speed and it is full charge ahead). He told me all these pitiful problems he was having today. Seriously, I laughed at him a little. His stomach hurt. Of course I asked him if he had pooped today. He said “No” but I suspect he couldn’t really remember. He is 6 and 1/2 now (and don’t forget the half because he sure doesn’t) so I don’t monitor his poops. Naturally, I gave him a bunch of fruit at dinner. I know he had yogurt at breakfast and not that yoplay stuff either the good Greek yogurt that has all the probiotics. I checked to make sure he didn’t have a bruise or something on his stomach. Yet he continued to mope around. His next answer, after he moped around at the park and drank 1/2 of a large McDonald’s sweet tea (1/2 sweet, 1/2 unsweet because sweet tea is just too sweet) was that he was needed water. He was seriously pitiful. I prayed for him because I’m not at all tolerant of self-pity….in myself or anyone in my family. No pity parties. There are kids in Africa who drink dirt water once a day and you just drank my whole tea. (I was a bit concerned that if he did have some kind of stomach thing going on that we will all get it because we shared that tea.)
He came home and moped his way through some school work. Then he went and laid down on his bed at 6:15 p.m. I made him get up to eat dinner.
He did eat dinner which made me think, maybe it wasn’t a stomach thing.
A prayer group from our church meets at our house on Tuesday evenings so after dinner I sent him upstairs. I told him he could play or get ready for bed since he wasn’t feeling well and he was so tired. He chose to stay up and play (big surprise).
The Hubs was late getting home from work. I told the Boy to get ready for bed and come say good night. That means he stayed up a little later than usual.
He came bounding down the stairs. He says, “Mama, mama, I know why my stomach has been hurting.” (He’s pointing at me). I ask, “Why?”. He says, “Because I didn’t say I was sorry yesterday.” His little six year old face was so serious.
Rewind to yesterday. Because of our sleep issues (Baby Girl has been waking up around 3 a.m. every other night and she’s sooo loud) I was tired. The weather was so nice, I sent the kids out to play while I sat down to do some reading before we started school. I was watching out the window and I had the back door open. Baby girl is not yet two so she is still in a diaper. And she one tough cookie. Seriously, she falls down and gets right back on and goes on with her life. She was in the yard doing “downward puppy” (think yoga “downward dog” I have no idea why). He kicked her on her bottom (Her bottom was right there in the air, I can see the temptation). Twice. And he probably would have done it again except I started yelling at him. She didn’t fall down or even seem phased by the kick. However, I want to teach him to be protective over her and not a mean brother. I told him, he would have a consequence for the kicking.
When he was little-little (he’s still kind of little to me) we would make him tell us “I’m sorry” when he behaved badly. We have been teaching Baby Girl to say “sorry” too (she uses sign language at this point). In our family we say “sorry” when we mess up…we take responsibility when we do the wrong thing or hurt someone whether is was intentional or accidental. It’s part of our DNA. This is also how we start teaching our kids about repentance. I have been giving The Boy a little more leeway in apologizing because I want him to do it by his own choice not because I force him too. I kind of let the “sorry” slide yesterday.
Fast forward to this evening, The Boy says, “Mr. Eddie (his teacher at church) said that when we do things wrong it makes our heart heavy. That’s why my stomach hurt. I told Jesus that I’m sorry but I forgot to tell you.” (he was talking to me). My response was (and he was so sincere that The Hubs and I were trying not to laugh and cry at the same time) , “I love you and forgive you. It’s not okay to kick your sister. I think the person you need to apologize to is your sister.” He told her he was sorry and gave her a hug then came and sat with me.
He seemed to be completely healed of his stomach issue.
In a related matter, about 7 minutes later, his sister launched herself over him onto me, ramming his face and she had to tell brother, “sorry”.
It was one of those moments…those moments when 4 years of parenting paid off. All of the things we have been teaching him came together for a brief moment and we had a glimpse of the godly man we are preparing to change the world. It made me want to cry. We know, it’s not all us or what we are doing. Mr. Eddie has been teaching him some of the same things in Sunday school and everyone knows that sometimes mom’s words go in one ear and out the other but when someone like Mr. Eddie teaches the same thing… it sticks. Mostly I lecture…Mr. Eddie has all these cool activities. Seriously, I’m so thankful for our church and children’s department.
And I want to remember my son’s sweet face and big blue eyes as he told me this. I hope that it was his lack of repentance that was bothering him because I want him to be sensitive to God’s leading. I hope that when he hurts others it leaves an ache in him. I hope that will lead him to repentance.