Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Will You Be My Friend?

I was all set to tell you a funny story about how my 4 year-old taught me today how to pick my nose . Seriously. Funny stuff. (Well, gross, really, but believe me, he has quite a talent for it.)

But, instead, I am torn up on the inside. And since I just shared with you yesterday how gentle-spirited my oldest son is, I had to tell you this story, instead, so that you could seethe alongside me.

My sweet boy,
In terms of this post and this blog being written for posterity's sake, let me just tell you, Dear Boy, I would be relieved if you put it away in your memory and actually forgot about this entirely. I certainly do not write about it to keep it at the forefront of your memory. But, in the spirit of why I write this thing - this blog - at all, I want you to see how you have been shaped, molded into the man you will become by everyday events when you were just a boy. And I want my girls to see that the emotions they experience as a mommy one day are some of the same feelings I struggle with today. It is an amazing cycle, this life we live. And it wasn't until very recently that I discovered quite poignantly that it truly is but a circle of life. (cue Lion King music)

So, my husband advises the kids on making friends as part of his annual get-ready-to-go-back-to-school tradition. He encourages them to find a stranger, walk up to said stranger and say, "Hi. My name is Mr. T. Will you be my friend?"Now, let me tell you I have actually used this very line in a college setting and made a friend true enough to stand beside me while I married this counselor of companionship mentioned above. At times, it really does sound fairly hokey. But, it's worked for me. I worry about the awkward presentation as the children role play with each other these words at the dinner table, but I pretty much don't get involved in this whole annual exchange because - well, it really did work for me.

My sweet boy eyed a kid at school yesterday. He came home and resolved in a pact with his dad last night that today he would approach this boy in his class and offer the olive branch of friendship in his direction, hoping for the best. True to his word, as every good gentleman is, he followed through with his plan. The little boy said no. My sweet son tried valiantly to control the tears that welled up in his eyes as he also carefully declined sharing his friendship making story from today while we all chowed down on beef stroganoff and green beans. He said he didn't want to tell. Well, that doesn't set well with Daddy. (Meiners said the same thing over a banged up nose injury yesterday, and let me assure you, eventually the little dude fessed up on how he mangled his nose while swimming.) Anyway, T eventually told. And I could barely keep myself pulled together.

Now, we're trying to raise a man here. And we don't encourage outbursts of teary emotion. But, come on, people. This man-in-the-making is but still a young boy. And I seethed inside. After composing myself and a bit of self-reflection on a walk with the family to cool down, I pulled Mr. T aside tonite after teeth brushing and had a talk with him. Every night at dinner I ask him what his favorite part of school was that day. And then I ask if there is anything I can pray about for him for that day. Tonite I explained that I would be praying for this boy in his class. And we did. Together. I prayed that this other boy would be blessed with numerous friends. I prayed that his heart might soften to the friendship of my son. I prayed that God would protect T's heart from hurting. I prayed that He would grant me wisdom and a spirit of forgiveness. I asked Mr. T what he could learn from today and we agreed to never deny a person our friendship if we are ever approached with such a blessed offering.

Lord, help me.
In your name.~Angry (but trying to forgive) Mama

Posted by Karin @ 6ByHisDesign at 6:48 PM

Nan said...
I know that prayer took just about all you had to pray it! Mr. T is blessed to have you as his mom!
August 15, 2008 4:33 AM
Caroline said...
I agree with Nan, that prayer must have been hard, but what an example you are setting for Mr. T. You are a great mother.
August 15, 2008 5:20 AM
Bella's momma said...
Wonderful post! Funny and thought provoking.
August 15, 2008 7:15 AM
~Trish~ said...
Ugh kids are so mean sometimes and I'm sure he didn't intend to be mean but sheesh!!! Hopefully his day today goes better!!!
August 15, 2008 8:22 AM
Nichole and Scott said...
Oh Karin, I know how hard this was for you. It's no fun to see your child in pain. Especially when they were trying to do something nice. I probably would have gotten all ticked off said something not so nice in the heat of my "Frizzy" protective moment. You, did everything just right. You modeled good behavior and acted as God would have wanted. You taught your children/son that life isn't always perfect and that it sometimes hurts BUT it's how we react to things like this that matters. Showing him to once again turn to God and prayer was perfect. I pray that I can keep my cool when I'm faced with similar situations for myself and my daughter in the future.
August 15, 2008 8:54 AM
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