My day was a bit crazy yesterday. It started with a BSF leader’s meeting until 11. I drove home to have lunch with a friend before I went to my daughter’s school for an assembly … That was about 15 minutes long. So, my son and I had time to stop by the neighborhood library to return books that were due and select new ones before my daughter got off the bus. We had less than 2 hours to get her homework done and take a short nap, during which I made supper to go. Then we ran one errand at the printer, which took about 15 minutes longer than I had planned, before I took my daughter to her soccer practice on the other side of town and, finally, basketball practice. Phew. We were late for … pretty much everything today. But it all got done.
If you are a parent, you know how much more difficult a busy day is when a child is reluctant. Every time we had somewhere to be, I had to allot extra time for Charlie to drag his feet. To add to the stress in the midst of our hectic schedule, he was upset about a stomach ache. I think it was more mental than physical. I’m not sure why, but he was feeling anxious. He didn’t want to go to Avery’s school. Either he thought we were going to be outside and he didn’t want to be cold or he was simply fearful of what he didn’t understand. We’ve never been to an “assembly” before.
He wanted to cuddle with me. Keep in mind, I was already holding him in my arms, while I was multitasking. But he needed my full attention.
It was 10 minutes before we were to be at the school for the start of the assembly. We really didn’t have time … But I knew if I didn’t address his concerns, we weren’t going to have a pleasant time in the gym amongst all the students and faculty. And even if his feelings were irrational, I didn’t want to ignore them. I’ve made the mistake in the past, stuffing my own feelings or demeaning them. I want to be intentional with my kids, ensuring that they know it’s okay to feel. And I definitely didn’t want busyness to get in the way. Besides, sometimes, you just need to be held.
So, I looked at the clock. 5 minutes. We can spare 5 minutes to slow down. We went upstairs and laid in bed, he in the crook of my arm and half his body on top of me.
After a few minutes, he was calm. He still didn’t want to go, mind you. But I said we’d go and if he didn’t like it, we’d leave. That seemed to satisfy his fears.
We got to the gym and sneaked into a seat in the back, a few minutes late. Charlie scanned the crowd for his sister and watched with wide eyes as they sang the school song. The kids were loud and boisterous (they were announcing the fundraiser’s raffle grand prize: a ride home from school in a fire truck)! And he was fine. Charlie’s going to fit right in this fall.
Overall, the day was a reminder to slow down. Sometimes we have to be willing to delay activities when strong emotions arise within our souls. It takes time to engage emotions because they’re unpredictable and can’t be scheduled or anticipated. But impatience and unwillingness to let go of your agenda will rob you of intimacy with those you love.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10