I’ve heard the stories. I’ve been told. Yes, it seems that as we parents age we tend to lose our mad – I smell a child skunk – radar skills (along with our eye sight, smelling, which is why we can’t smell the overbearing skunk, hearing, bladder control and all other useful functions).
Never! ( I thought). Not me! (I proclaimed). Not even possible (I proudly boasted). Doesn’t the Bible say something about pride and boasting? Um, hmm. And it isn’t good.
Well this aging parental proud boaster learned a lesson. You think I would’ve learned to be a little more cautious after my darlin’ baby pulled this stunt a couple of years ago. However, in defense of my previous state of ignorance, we parents want to believe our children. We are TOLD by the media to believe our kids (and the sneaky little offspring know this!)
So when my youngest came home with a bus tale from hell (involving forced gum consumption in spite of his existing expander) I rose to his defense. Ok, so to be fair, I was kinda set up. Why? Well, he has had multiple issues on this bus even involving physical assault (the little guy took a breath sucking punch to the gut).
I believe in tough love and find myself quoting Mr. Pavlov’s “suck it up” (whatever it may be) a little too often. Although, without a doubt, I become my children’s OJ Simpson legal defense team when warranted. I have their back and they rest securely in this knowledge.
This warranted Mama Bear roared and demanded that the school employ serious intervention (because somehow intervention alone seemed lacking) in this bus situation. The school rose to the challenge and began to implement change.
Then my previously constipated maternal radar took an Exlax and began to flow freely. Beeps and alarms were going off all over the place. Something just didn’t fit and this team OJ was not about to acquit. Could it be? Could my youngest, my baby, be deceiving me?
I asked him…several times. It was not until his grandmother’s profession of his truthfulness that he broke and actually told the truth. She spoke into existence his character, the character we have in and through Christ and that alone drove away all deception.
As he told the truth it became obvious that he wove two separate events together with such creativity and detailed precision that I sat and marveled at his intelligence.
Then I felt nauseous because I remembered my team OJ demand for serious intervention. I knew, without a doubt, that the serious intervention would be coming from my son and myself and I wanted to hide (I was really feeling the whole fig leaf and animal skin thing). I knew we had to correct the situation and bring forth the truth but part of me really didn’t want to.
Have you wrestled with feeling like these before? I knew what had to be done but sooo wanted NOT to have to do it! I guess I was concerned with how his deception reflected on not only him, but on myself as his parent.
I felt for sure they would be thinking he was a bad kid who lied easily. I thought they would treat him differently and view him with suspicion. Plus they were sure to ask: What kind of parent was I? How foolish was I to believe his story? The fear of man is a very motivating force behind our bad decisions! It would be soooo much easier to let the entire incident blow over and have the school staff still hold us in a positive light. However, this tempting apple was not an option (I’ve learned that bad things happen when you eat the sin apple).
I uncomfortably became prosecuting attorney, Marcia Clark and marched his little toosh into the school office and had him tell the truth (while I held my breath).
They listened. Then they handed him a kleenex for his tears and snotty nose and as he wiped and blew they thanked him for coming forward and telling the truth. They called him a “man” because, as one staff member put it, any boy can lie but it takes a man to tell the truth. They handled him with such tenderness, mercy and grace that I couldn’t help but think of our heavenly Father and how he lovingly deals with us in our tearful, mucus loaded states.
My little man finally smiled and so did team Marcia, rather comfortably.