May 23, 2016

Wedding Week: Doing This With Children

There’s a lot about this that I’ve done before, but there’s one major variable about this Wedding Week that is all new to me: Doing This With Children.

I was mapping out the wedding week, in my cute little bullet journal with doodles and dots and scribbles to make it lovely, and right in the middle of it all, I include things like: Last Day of School. And Pay School Lunch Fees. And Return Library Books before Leaving for Honeymoon.

When I got a call from the boys’ school this morning, I was bracing myself for someone to tell me that somebody’s sick, someone threw up, someone who belongs to me will need stitches in his face or his lips removed from a baseball. I mean, it’s not an unfounded go-to. We kind of have a history. (One year ago next week is when we all launched into the journey of #BrokenFootSummer. So it’s not like I’m inexperienced with things going differently than planned.)

But, quite thankfully, nobody’s sick. Nobody needs stitches or to have his lips removed. There was just one sad little boy who was… wait for it… hungry.  He had forgotten his snack, and he was unraveling over the phone.

(How much do I love his teacher, who knew what he needed?  My cup overflows.)

If you’re a Love and Logic parent who thinks I should just let my kid be hungry because the snack was his responsibility all along, then you haven’t gotten married during the same time frame as The Last Week of School, and you don’t have a child whose blood sugar makes his entire emotional framework shut down, and I don’t want you to write me letters. Just stop reading now.Paper lunch bags with red apple on school desk

I remember when I was student teaching and a student in my class was melting down in a dozen ways. Many things were wrong, and the greatest of which is he didn’t have a pencil. We called his mom, and I was hoping she would stern some sense into him and make him buck up and get through the day and make a pencil appear like a rabbit out of a hat. But instead, she showed up a few minutes later with a literal bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. I remember being so frustrated because she wasn’t on my team. But I wasn’t a mom yet, and actually as I think about it, I wasn’t even really a teacher yet. I was only textbooks and theorems. I wasn’t yet grace and soft edges. I didn’t know then that sometimes you don’t need tough love and boundaries. Sometimes, on some days, you just need your mom to show up with what you need.

On this day, when my boy made that same melting phone call that sounded so much like the one my student made to his mom all those years ago, I didn’t give him tough love and boundaries and logical consequences. I remembered that everything about his life is changing this week. I remembered that we’re all a little emotionally ramped. Every blessed one of us. Including the blasted dog.  It feels like everything we know is changing this week.  So maybe I could just love him through this little hiccup.

I told him, “I’m on my way, buddy. With muffins.”

7 comments on “Wedding Week: Doing This With Children”

  1. As I read this, I wanted to say to all that this can be true for the oldest of sons/children. My son is almost 23. He is emotional, sensitive, and selfless. Last week he called me with a need that ended up in a hang up. But, because I know this son of mine, I knew it was not disrespect, it was disappointment in himself. Some, would say to lecture him for hanging up, but asking him what happened accomplished so much more. No one can parent your child like you....no matter how old you are or the "child' is. I have enjoyed your candor in your journey. "Buy up the time this week.....and every week."

  2. Most excellent! It's really frustrating to have teachers who have never had children, no empathy, and no"you don't know what you don't know" . I'm enjoying your blog, connected with you via the Brave event. Best wishes.

  3. So happy for you and your family! Thank you for so eloquently sharing your life with the blog world. Your hope in Christ, love for your family, and their love for you give me hope whenever I read your blog!

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