I don't pretend to be this awesome mother. I know I am not. I know that I daily fail my children. And I'm not saying (writing) that for you to say "Oh, Jeanette...you are a great mom." Because, Inter-webs, I'm not. My kids are the best gift I've ever been allowed to have. And at night, when I check on Eli after he's fallen asleep (when he's on his best behavior), I pray that tomorrow, I won't lose my temper or my patience. I pray that the computer doesn't take attention from me that should be for him. I pray that I can show him Jesus in how I love him. Because that's why I'm a mom -- so this precious young boy will grow up to show others how awesome his Savior is and personify love to others.
The other day, Eli said something to me that encouraged me as his mother...I mean after he pushed a child and made him cry...wait for it.
So, we were at a McDonald's play land (don't worry, snobs...we just had ice cream as a mid-afternoon snack) and Eli was playing in the super sanitary play structure (where healthy immune systems go to die), along with his cousins and another little boy (who we didn't know). At one point, stranger boy apparently set up camp at the entrance to the slide, thus preventing any one else from going down the slide. I hear Eli politely ask stranger boy to move so that he and his cousins could go down the slide. And ask again...and again. Each time a little (lot) less politely. Finally, the boy emerged crying. Followed by Eli avoiding eye contact.
Turns out Eli pushed the little boy down the slide so that he would stop blocking the entrance. I don't think Eli pushed him hard, but the boy was crying and it was due to my son. So, I told Eli to apologize, I apologized, gave Eli a stern lecture on not pushing/hitting and sat him in time out. The grandmother of the boy told me that stranger boy was overly tired and it wasn't a big deal, but I was still disappointed.
As we were we leaving, and I was buckling Eli into his seat, he looked at me and very seriously said, "Mom, my heart is just breaking. It really hurts."
Ohmygosh...he's having a heart attack...how quickly can I drive him to the hospital? (I irrationally thought).
I asked him why, to which he replied, "My heart is breaking, which means Jesus is probably hurting, too. And if Jesus is hurting, that means God is hurting. I didn't mean to hurt that boy's feelings. My heart is hurting because I hurt his feelings."
And then, as my heart was melting on to the McDonald's parking lot, he said, "I guess it's a good thing Jesus forgives us when we do things like that."
I gave him a kiss and told him he had a good heart and that both Jesus and I were proud of him.
I hope that was some sort of parenting win (through the grace of God).
I know that I am so in love with that kid.