Take Time for Ribbons this Christmas!
Yesterday Z got off the bus with tear filled eyes. Our seven year old, who never cries, had been struggling with something major. I asked him what was wrong. He said that his lollipop was broken to bits. Knowing that there must be more to the story, I probed deeper. "What else is wrong honey?" Z replied, "When the principal handed out lolipops to the whole class, my lolipop was the only one without a ribbon." "Oh honey,"I said. "Aren't you glad that you spared another child from being the one without the ribbon?" Realizing that this did absolutely nothing for his pain, and that I was not seeing how much this hurt him, I asked if there was anything else. He replied that the day before, when the teacher was handing out treats, another child distracted her and she completely forgot to give him one. Yet, he said nothing.
My son's pain was completely real to him.
In that moment I felt like God cleared a path for me to minister to my child. Usually when my children get off the bus, we have choas. At 4 pm in the afternoon I have a baby and a very grumpy and demanding four year old waking up from nap. At 4:10 I have two elementary aged sons getting off the bus wanting to tell me everything at the same time, foraging to find snacks, and trying to do homework amidst everything else. Needless to say, I do not usually get a chance to spend time with any of them at 4:15.
B had no homework and went downstairs to play, C woke up happy and followed B, and A kept sleeping.
Z, my sweet son needed ribbons. I asked him if I could put some ribbons on his lollipop. "Sure mommy!" "OH, but could we make another lolipop out of pipecleaners and then put ribbons all over that? Becuase I want to give it to my stuffed dog, Nanook." "Of course sweetie, I replied" So, we spent ten minutes together fussing over pipecleaners and ribbons. He wrapped his arms around me so tightly, my child who never cries, and whispered, "thank you mommy." And because I had time to feel his pain he seemed at peace.
I don't know what prompted me to write out this story. I just feel like God wants me to. Maybe we all need to make time for ribbons in our life, to stop, and take a moment to feel our child's pain as it were our own.
I am sending this out to friends who, like me, have young children in their lives. We all have our good days and bad days with our kids. This was just a moment in time that happened to be good. Be encouraged and enjoy this wild ride called parenting!