Thursday, July 24, 2008

On Being a Parent

Sometimes being a mom is so incredibly difficult.

Sometimes I long for those preschool days when I was the only person in my kid's little lives to make them miserable (and you know sometimes that's true); when I had control of almost every part of their day.

For over a week now I have lost sleep, my appetite, and my ability to think straight because of worry over my oldest child.

I am not boasting when I tell you that he is the sweetest child I have ever known. He is kind and compassionate. He desires to please. He is respectful. He is helpful to others, and he is very sensitive.

He's just a good kid. 

I would love to take all the credit for who he is, and write about how my Great Parenting Skills and Perfect Mothering have made him who he has become, but the truth is that I was given not one, but two, amazing children. I was given these amazing kiddos, and in spite of my failings and flaws as a parent they are (so far) a joy to us, and to others.

However, have you ever noticed that often times our greatest strength can also be our greatest weakness?

This is true for my kids as well. We have experienced it this week in epidemic proportions as my son deals with a new teacher who is laying a heavy hand with her fifth grade class. 

The Boy is so fearful of getting into trouble (although in six years of schooling this has NEVER happened) that he has an amazing amount of anxiety. He's afraid of his teacher.

I won't take the time, nor the energy, to go into the details but after 8 days of fear and endless pep talks I decided to take action. My hope was to get him moved into a class where he feels less threatened (and I did this with no small amount of thought, prayer and council). 

We were denied.

So this morning I took my trembling son to the classroom with a promise that I would return to volunteer at 9:30a, for an hour. 

I am now back from volunteering, but I still feel unsettled as he has three and a half hours to complete before he can come home to his soft place to land.

Several years ago when The Boy started kindergarten I had to memorize this scripture to get over the anxiety of sending him off to "strangers" for six hours a day:

2 Timothy 1:12
...I know whom I have believed and am convinced
 that He is able to guard
 what I have entrusted to him for that day.

I find myself having to remind myself over, and over, again that no one could love my child more than God. No one could be in safer hands than the one who is in His hands. The Boy is my child, but there is no greater guard than the God who made him who he is...

I know that the decision we have made to make The Boy face his fears is one that is right. One that has definite boundaries (I have spoken with the principle and the teacher to clearly define what my expectations are.) I know that this time in his life will make him stronger, make him into a great man of strength and integrity. I am praying that it will be in times like this, when I cannot be there to comfort and assure him, that he will remember that God is always with him. 

I pray that he will learn that he can depend on the Lord; with or without me there to encourage him.

And mothers heart aches for him; it doesn't want him to experience pain.

In yesterday's post I spoke about something that was troubling my heart. This is the gist: its hard to let go when it feels so rotten. 

It's hard to watch him learn that sometimes life isn't fair. 

It's hard to watch your child suffer, and remember that joy can only be celebrated when we understand the pain of suffering. 

It's hard...'s hard, and I am awesomely aware that it's necessary.  

A very tired, 
La Vida Dulce


Lindsay said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It touched me very deeply. I have not had to do this with Sammy yet and I am very thankful, however I know that the time is coming when I will have to trust in the Lord to protect him.

I will be praying that things get easier and that your son trusts in his Father for the strength and guidance.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Oh, Kellie, I'm sorry your request to move him was denied. And I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this in the first place.

I will be praying for wisdom and trust for you and your husband, and for courage for your son.

Hang in there.

Beth Cotell said...

What a sweet post. I'm so sorry your son is having to go through all of this.

I will be praying for him (and you!).

Musings of a Housewife said...

Wow. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. thanks for letting us in on what you're going through right now.

Ali said...

Hugs to you and your little boy.

Makes me wonder if the reason why your request was denied was because they were getting too many requests to be moved this particular classroom, and there wouldn't be any students left for this difficult teacher.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that my 6 yr old gets a good 1st grade teacher next month.

Deidre said...

I'm so sorry to read about all you (and your son) are going through. It's so difficult to know when to step in and when to stay back.

I love that scripture. I memorized that when my oldest was born and have had to rely on it many times since. God is bigger than any problem they face. I have to remind myself that He is with my girls WHEN I can't be. I pray for your continued discernment.

Tiffani said...

Sweet Mama Kellie, oh how my heart hurts for this situation because I can SOOO identify with that feeling of watching your children learn about life and WISHING you could do something for them but learn they must...I will be praying for you from ashes...SOMETHING good will come of this...


Jackie said...

Oh, that makes my heart hurt alongside yours. I am so sorry. You are right that he will be stronger for it, but it is no fun to have to see him go through this. So sorry, Kellie.

Anonymous said...

SO well said...I have been there! I have told my boys several times (and it always seems to be at the beginning of a school year!) that there are going to be "difficult" people all throughout life and you just have to adjust and work it out. I think that's usually safe to say unless there is a real problem with being treated unfairly, but so far, it has always worked for us. They figure out what is required, what is important to focus on and what is not. If nothing else, its good life skill training! Good luck with The Boy...the first few weeks are always the hardest, I think.

meh said...

I tried to post a comment doesn't look like it went through so I will try again just in case.

Love you guys and please give the boy an extra squeeze from me.

Shelley @ My Treasure Hunt said...

I said a prayer for your boy. I know is so hard when we love them so much to watch them hurt. Hope this resolves quickly and he begins to feel more comfortable soon!

jen said...

Oh, I am so, so sorry! I am sorry for him and for you...will pray that God will allow you to see how He works this for good. (Romans 8:28), even if it takes some time.

stephanie j. said...

Beautiful, Kellie. I'm struggling with letting go of 4 1/2 yo -- I signed her up for preschool (2 days a week, 3 hours each day) and I'm fearful too! God bless you for instilling a knowledge of God's Word in his heart.

Anonymous said...

Oh girl, I'm sorry. That boy of yours is absolutely a *great* kid and it really sucks that he's been dealt a lousy teaching hand. For what it's worth I think you're doing the right thing and hopefully in the end he'll learn one of lifes toughest lessons: that which does not kill us, only makes us stronger.

Helen Ruth said...

My heart went out to you when I read this. I was in that same position 14 years ago when I took my son out of first grade and decided to home school him. He's graduated, and now I'm home schooling my 11-year-old daughter.

God bless!

PS) I've been enjoying your posts!

Michelle@Life with Three said...

Oh, Kellie -- I can imagine how difficult it is not just for your son, but for you in this situation. You're right, it hurts so much to see your child hurting. I never understood that until I had children of my own.
I'll be praying for you!

Gretchen said...

So much of this post is simply amazing. But I hold firmly to this goal:

"I pray that he will learn that he can depend on the Lord; with or without me there to encourage him."

That's the best kind of parenting we can ever hope to do. And I see evidence of this fruit in your children. I have NEVER had a child pray over me the way your two did. xxxooo