I was given a gift the other day.
Ever have one of those days where you majorly question your skills as a parent? Where you ask yourself things like, Do they learn ANYTHING I’m teaching them? Do they have ANY manners whatsoever? Am I a total pushover? Am I too hard on them? Why am I being such a cow? WHY WON’T THEY LISTEN? Why is he kicking me in the face?!
You have? Great. I had one of those days last week.
After my ‘one of those days’ days, I put my two boys to bed and flopped on the couch with a big sigh. I envisioned myself clocking out of a hard day at the ole job site, wiping the sweat off my brow, ready for a cold one with the Mister, leaving all my work problems with the setting sun.
Alas, the job of Parenting is not like the job site.
One of them got out of bed (again) and asked for a drink (again). Then the oldest one got up (again). Except this time he said, “Mom, I brought home some jewels for you…they’re in my backpack. I mean, they’re not real jewels, but I brought them for you.”
“Um…okay Finn. Thanks, Love. Goodnight.”
Then he went back to bed, this time for good.
Curious, I got up, checked his bag. I didn’t find anything but a soggy student planner, from when he left his backpack at the playground at school and it rained that night. I put it on the counter to dry out, and I went back to my spot on the couch.
Except there was this nagging feeling in the back of my head telling me that I had to check his bag again. So I did. In the tiny front pocket was a folded up brown paper towel. I put it on the carpet at my feet and unfolded it.
There sat a pile of sparkling, faceted, plastic sequins. Every colour of the rainbow.
I started to bawl. Like, lips curled, puffy pink eyes, ugly cry.
While at school, doing some art thing first graders do, he saw these”jewels”, and thought of me. All the frustration and temple-rubbing I did that day sloughed off. I was then reminded of when Jesus rubbed mud in the blind man’s eyes and the scales fell off, and he could finally see. For me this was a holy moment – like God saying, “See? He really does love you. He sees you.”
I am going to keep these sequins forever, brown paper napkin and all. Next time I feel like an invisible parent, I will pull these sparkling plastic jewels out, and remember that I am loved and seen by the ones I love and see the most.