Real understanding

It’s been quite a week.  Mama is starting to get her footing and get back to engaging better with the small people.  Engagement.  That’s what I’m going for here.  It’s hard.  I have horrible Seasonal Affect Disorder and am truly thankful that we spent our emergency funds on a skylight in the master bedroom.  So the last few weeks have been very sluggish and mama hasn’t been very engaged.  I think I didn’t really realize what was happening, either.  My semester in review post made me think about it.

To that end, I have taken “engagement” much more to heart and become much more aware of what I’m doing at one point or another each day.  I’ve been more patient in answering questions and have had more frequent “real” discussions with the kids–especially BigGuy.    In the last few months, our faith being different from most people we know has been a hot topic for BigGuy.

BigGuy: “Mom, why are we Quaker?”
Me: “Because it’s just what we believe,”
BigGuy: “But why do we believe that? “
Me: “Because Papa and I don’t believe the same things that Christians believe.”
BigGuy: “But why? Why can’t we just be Christian?”
Me: (after a long pause to think) “Buddy–what’s your favorite color?”
BigGuy: “Blue” (which I think is a lie by the way)
Me: “But everyone really likes red.  Why don’t you just like red?”
BigGuy: (after thinking about it) “I don’t know.  I just don’t like red.  I like blue.”
Me: “That’s why we’re Quaker.”

He really understood.  Because I took the time to think instead of just telling him “I don’t know–we just do!” in my haste to get out of my conversation with him.

Tonight he had a really tough time at choir.  It actually looked like he was exhausted based on how he was behaving.  I almost started to wonder if he was getting sick.  There were so many people absent from co-op today–so many classes canceled–and it’s been going around for a few weeks.  I started to wonder if he was fighting something off.

Of course, Mama didn’t handle it very well or with as much gentle patience as the occasion called for.  Not initially, anyway.  I had to do a lot of managing feelings and quickly changed direction and attitude.   Ultimately, the conversation came down to trying to make him understand that no matter how much he loved choir, that it may not be the place for him if he wasn’t able to manage the requirements of being there.  He might be trying his hardest to behave appropriately, but if doing his best didn’t produce the behavior needed at choir–then he wouldn’t be able to be in choir.  But he was stuck on the idea that he shouldn’t be kept from doing something he loves just because he was made the way he was made.  My heart broke for him.

I told him that there is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL dress that I loved more than anything in the world.  I loved it to death and there was only one of them, but it was a size 2; and mommy was a size 12.

I told him that I tried and tried to lose enough weight to fit into that dress–just enough to put it on and look in the mirror and twirl around in it and feel amazing.  But in the end, no matter how much weight I lost, the size of my bones would never let me get small enough to fit into that dress.  I could try to put it on, but it would rip and my skin would show through and so would the threads.  It would look horrible.  That beautiful dress that I loved.

And maybe we needed to consider that choir would be the same for him.

He understood, of course.  We hugged.  But then he wanted to brainstorm tactics he could use to help him when he’s having a hard time managing in choir.  So we did.

Then I put his little sister to bed and we watched Hunger Games: Catching Fire before going to bed.

I love that kid.



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