Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sweet and Sour

Yesterday started out on a pretty sour note in our house, but it sure ended up on a sweet one.

Yesterday, before school, I was in David's room urging him to finish getting ready for school, when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something purple on the floor. I looked and realized that someone had colored the carpet with a purple crayon, and unfortunately, it was not a very little spot. I immediately thought Nathan had done it, but I did think to ask David before casting blame. When David admitted he had done it, I was shocked. Trying to overcome my shock and anger, I asked him why he did it and he started crying. I called to Brian to come in the room and see it, and the poor little guy started to sob. (He was pretty pitiful, but when you are mad, pitiful doesn't affect you much!)

For his punishment, he is going to have to help clean up the carpet as soon as I can figure out the best way to get purple crayon out of the carpet. Nathan kept his doodling to David's door, so Nathan will be responsible for cleaning up the door. Plus, the supply of crayons have been removed for now, and both will have to ask for crayons if they want to color and will only be able to do it under strict supervision.

On our way to church last night, David decided that he wanted to give each of his teachers some money. When I told him that he didn't really need to do that, he said, "But Mom, God wants us to share what we have." I started to say that God didn't mean share our money, but then realized what I was saying. Of course God wants us to share our money. He wants us to share everything we have with all people...even the ones who don't need it or we think don't deserve it. I realized that what I said to him at this moment could make a big impact on how he viewed sharing his money with others. Even though I knew that his teachers didn't NEED the money, I didn't want him to walk away with the idea that we weren't supposed to share our money. So, I told him that he was absolutely right and we talked about how important it is for us to share and how much it makes God happy when we share. David ended up giving one of his teachers a nickel and one of them a quarter.

When I picked him up from class, they asked what they should do with the money. I told them they should keep it and explained why he wanted to give it to them. They both gave him a hug and called him a sweet boy. He left church beaming!

As I put him to bed last night, I told him how proud I was of him for sharing with his teachers. I also told him how proud I was of him for behaving well at school. Then, for the next 30 minutes, we talked. He told me everything he liked about school and what he didn't like. He told me why he was sad when we left him at school in the morning. We talked about God and Jesus and what they want from us. It was an incredible moment. My little boy is growing up quickly and these moments reinforce that, in spite of those sour moments, he is learning what it means to be a man of God. While he is still learning in small baby steps right now, each decision he makes reinforces good choices and the consequences of poor choices. It humbles me and kind of scares me, but it also brings a joy to my heart that cannot be taken away by the day to day struggles we encounter...including purple crayon on the carpet.

As I left his room last night, I saw the purple spot. Seeing it still makes me shake my head, but it doesn't make me angry anymore. It is a teaching moment on my part and a learning moment for David and honestly, also for the rest of us in this house. We all make mistakes, and we all make poor choices. Even more than that, we all have to clean up our messes. David will learn that today, and my guess is that this may be something he remembers for a long time.

2 comments:

Eco said...

Great post! Great kids and great parents. My crayon of choice when I was about his age was orange and it was my closet door. Never did fully get that door back to normal!

G'ma S said...

I seem to remember a little girl who painted on our carpet. Not just one color but many beautiful colors!! What goes around comes around.......