/> Raising Angels: Mercy Me

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mercy Me

This morning, half way to school I heard a gasp from the back of the car. "Mama!" said the devastated voice, "I forgot my Show and Tell!"

"Well bud," I said, "we can't turn back now, we'll be late. You can just bring the stuff to school next week."

That was an unacceptable answer and it was followed by lobbying, rationalizing and genuine tears. By the time I pulled into the carpool line, he was really upset. I had already brought forgotten things to school twice this week. I had to get home, dress and feed Max, get Dawson to school and get back for Max' therapy. I wasn't convinced that this was an instance that necessitated another trip. Besides, what kind of lesson would that teach?

He was beside himself, not only with sadness about the forgotten item but also the humiliation that came along with joining the school line after he had been crying. "They will see that my eyes are red Mama." We stood and talked for several minutes. I was trying desperately to explain to him that this was not the end of the world and that he could go to school and would be just fine. He was absolutely not convinced of this and didn't join the line until the first bell sounded.

I drove away feeling a mix of emotions. I was proud that I had stood my ground under difficult circumstances. I was sad that I had to leave my baby wiping tears from his face. By the time I got home I was feeling really bad and totally doubting my decision. I kept going back to the line in the parenting book I'm reading that says that kids are honestly forgetful.

Then I started thinking about what Jesus would do and the only word that came to mind was "mercy". Aiden is only a kindergartener after all and he experienced plenty of suffering before school even started. There are days (lots of them) when I feel like I am so hard on him. His school is right on my way home from Dawson's school and I had a few moments to spare.

I wondered if I wanted him to remember how bad he felt when he forgot something so that he would never do it again. Or, did I want him to remember how much I loved him when I came to the rescue? How many times has God bailed me out? How much of His mercy have I received totally undeservedly? How could I not pass this on?

There are many choices in parenting. Being human, I don’t, haven’t and won’t always make the right one. Today, however, I think I did.


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