Sunday, May 20, 2012

Making it Right

We were on vacation for a week. Our plane landed on the runway with high speed and at the same pace we jumped back into life. We got to our home on Tuesday night at 5:15ish and I taught ballet 15 minutes later at 5:30. I had a Superman moment as I threw off my traveling clothes and threw on my ballet clothes and slippers. Kinda fun.
Unfortunately, it didn't stop there. The next day, suitcases laying unpacked in the living room, we zoomed through 3 piano lessons, milk delivery, harp and violin lessons. Yikes.
Thursday brought 20some children to our home for Spanish lessons. I was having a great time but apparently it was a little much for the kids. Friday morning Rowan broke down.
He made a bad choice, which is not uncommon, but his reaction to it was terrifying. In retrospect, he must have been very sorely tried by all my running around and the messy state of the house and life in general. He ended up on his bed in a crying fit. I sat next to him and prayed over him and tried to gently reason with him. I had to take a couple important phone calls during this whole situation and I noticed that he cried worse after I had talked on the phone.
So I asked, "What is it about mommy talking that makes you so sad?"
He responded, "It's embarrassing that people hear me crying!"
As I probed deeper, I realized the whole of the outburst came not from the knowledge that he did wrong, but from the fear and embarrassment of people, including me and his siblings, knowing that he did wrong.
An hour and a half later he came to, emerged from his state of anger and sadness, and got up.
My day was, by this time, pretty much shot, but I decided to drag the kids to the grocery store anyway, seeing as how we had been living on cheese since coming home from vacation.
I pulled into a parking place at the store. We piled out and I looked back at the car. Sigh, my back tires were in the spot next to me.
I told the kids, "Stand here on the sidewalk and wait for me. I've got to go back and make this right."
I got into the car and backed out and looked up to see my four children in a straight line on the sidewalk, watching me make it right. Tears came into my eyes as I realized how often this scenario has played out in our lives. Mommy going back and fixing her mistake with all eyes riveted. I suddenly had a sympathy for Rowan. It's bad enough to make mistakes, it's hard to have them seen.
I got out of the car and said, "The important thing is to make it right no matter who's watching." I said it for myself as well as for them. I said it so I'd remember.
We stood there for a minute and Rowan put his little brown arms around me.
There is purpose and voice in almost everything that happens to us. Each wave brings it's own treasures to the shore. Every moment is a mine of it's own, holding unquarried jewels.

Tonight I watched out the window while Dave and the kids played baseball. Rowan was going for a home run and got tagged at third base. I saw him fall in frustration and I held my breath. He looked up at the window, looked to see who was watching, and hung his head when he saw that I saw his failure. Then he got up, waved to me with a little smile hovering, and joined the game.
He's going to fail. People will see his mistakes. But he's learning to get back in the game. And watching my mistakes and how I deal with them may just teach him what my words never could.

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