Monday, May 23, 2011

Learning to Fly

photo source
Tonight I'm feeling broken, broken as a mother. Tears of uncertainty fall down my cheeks. I'm not sure what to do, what type of discipline will speak to his little heart. And yet, I'm thankful that he does know Jesus, because Jesus is truly the One that can speak to his little heart, louder than this mommy can. Sure, I can discipline, but I can't change his heart-only Jesus can do that.

"Oh hi. No, I haven't heard anything."
"Oh! No, I didn't know that at all."
 "That is unacceptable and quite disappointing."

Not the phone call I was wanting. After dealing with this, I was hoping better choices would be made.

Dinner had just wrapped up; spaghetti to be exact. When I hung up, the Walnut was surprisingly missing. When he walked in, me with evidence in hand, the eyes went down. He knew I knew. He knew he had been caught. I don't know if he thought it was wrong until that moment, until he saw my face.

Anger. Disappointment. Feelings of worry. Brokenness as a mother.

Have I missed something? Am I not engaged enough? Did I take a wrong turn somewhere along this path called parenting?

The young little Mockingbird. Probably the same one we tried to save 2 days before. We put it in a bucket to keep it safe from ants and cats, hoping Momma Bird would come back for it. She did and what a wonderful site it was. Hop. Hop. Hop. Wings spread. Flying lessons that day; for one day, it was supposed to fly.

But today, it had perched on the side of the bucket full of water, a bucket that catches water from a dripping pipe. Balance lost. Life lost. The little bird didn't stand a chance to get out. It drowned in that bucket of water, water it was hoping would bring nourishment.

"Really. Do you know where the bird is?"
"Did he say anything else?"
"Right. No, he won't be playing anymore this week either."
"Thank you so much for calling. I will speak with him right away."
"I will. I'll call if I learn anything else."

The little bird. They found it, carried it to the front yard, and then smashed it-just because. Just to see what was inside. 

Thoughts swirled inside my head. What does this mean? I think about young men that kill-so often, it started with animals. Was smashing a dead bird just one small step towards that? Maybe that is drastic to think, but the reality of what he had done was heavy on my heart. The Other Nut too. We just stood there. 

Clean up soon happened. Proper burial. Spankings. Conversations. Discipline.

Tears fell on the Walnut's face. He was sad for what he had done, but also sad, because he thought I didn't love him anymore. How do you explain to an 8 year old that you discipline, that you let him feel the pain of his actions, because you do love him?

"Son, I do love you. If I didn't love you, I wouldn't care what you did. I would let you do things that are wrong and just turn away. I wouldn't want to teach you to love God, people, and animals. I wouldn't want to teach you anything. And so I discipline, I train you, I hopefully show you how to be like Jesus."

Long shower for the Walnut. I'm sure he was pretty dirty from his misadventure.

Jesus walks in, evidence in hand, eyes go down. We've been caught. And so Jesus too washes us; for we too are dirty from our misadventures.

"Mommy, I talked with daddy, and I'm glad that you and daddy discipline me."

If he only knew how it hurts this heart of mine to discipline, to have him feel the pain of his actions.

One day, he will. Lord willing, as he watches his own children grow and stumble, he'll know.

Hop. Hop. Hop. Wings spread. Momma teaching her little boy how to fly in this world. Flying lessons; for one day, he will be gone from the nest.

Today, little boy perched on the side of a bucket full of a world ravaged by sin. Balance lost. But life is not lost. The little boy stands a chance. He won't drown in this bucket. Jesus pulled him out and set his feet upon the Rock.

Hop. Hop. Hop. Wings spread. Little boy is learning how to fly.



Jen said...

"just to see what was inside."

Curiosity. That is what jumped out at me when I read this. Not that this excuses the behavior. Not that I would have disciplined differently. But this shows the motive, the heart. He was curious. Sometimes we just don't know how our own curiosities will get us in trouble and this is true all the way into adulthood. Sometimes with kids, their motives are so different than what we as adults think they are. And it's just because we've heard more horror stories. But this reminds me, in my own parenting, that I need to see the motives in their hearts.

Jen said...

I meant for my last line to say this:

But this reminds me, in my own parenting, that I need to see the motives in their hearts, and not let my own fears impose them.

Lisa Maria said...

Oh Ima, I've been in this place myself, more times than I'd like to count. I know I'll be there again but I think your mother's heart is one of gold and I absolutely love how you used the little bird to illustrate your point. I've been so disappointed in my children at times. Most recently, my college-gone 20 yr old pierced her lip and got a tattoo. After crying rivers I realised its not about me and how I raised her.. she's testing her wings. It doesn't change who she is inside.. I absolutely hate how it looks, but I pray that someday she will have no need for these outward expressions of what she's searching for. I pray hard each day for God to keep her close to Him and I know that He hears my prayers.

I think you and your husband are doing a wonderful job and, with God in the center of all things, your children are getting the best grounding for their futures.

Love & Hugs

Debbie said...

I went from giggling so much over the Sunday post to literally crying with you over this one. As moms, we can all relate to this experience and feeling, though not all in exactly the same exact circumstances.

I love what Jen said in that first comment about motives and curiosity.

I also think that you and the Other Nut are wonderfully discipling your children, and I pray that you are encouraged rather than discouraged this morning.

happygirl said...

Oh Ima. My heart hurts for you. Don't go down the road of "what does this mean for his future" because, like Jen said, he was curious. Not murderous. Doesn't everyone want to know what makes us tick? I know I did. Then I majored in biology in college and worked for the Naval Investigative service (aka NCIS) and saw enough to last for the rest of my life. Think positively... maybe he'll want to be a doctor.

Love your blog. You started just about when I got serious about blogging. :)

Mrs. M. said...

I have been here. And the same reason was given to me by my child.

I was curious...yes, the urge was stronger than the will and the truth.

Yet, once it was done...I did ask - was it worth it?

Most of the time the same answer is given - truthfully and with

Mrs. M.

Pamela said...

I'm on the far side of parenting and sometimes it's just not easy. What I love is that you are willing to discipline and love. Too many parents can get the love and not the discipline. Our children need both. What beautiful parents you are!


Amy Sullivan said...

Just scroll down and you will see all of the people who can connect with this story on such personal levels!

When our kids surprise us with their actions, it's only natural to question ourselves and them. Too often, if I don't like a behavior I see in my child, I evaluate my every word.

It's just them. Growing, living, and experincing.

Thank you for being so real. It's a great little space you have here.

"Ima" said...

Thank you to everyone for your sweet comments. They have been a blessing to me; encouragement when much was needed. I have felt much better today. Being thankful for opportunities early in life to teach and for God to work. It is nice knowing that I am not alone in these feelings. If I don't get around to responding to each of you personally, know that your encouragement and support means a lot.

p.s. He is handling is discipline well, praise God! His chore money this week will be donated to an animal shelter that rescues animals. He is actually excited about that-so far:)

"Ima" said...

Happygirl-thanks for your comment. You worked for the NCIS? What was that like?

I'm glad you enjoyed my blog. I visited yours and enjoyed it as well. I tried to leave a comment, but couldn't figure out how. I never was able to do it-I know, sad right? Computer challenged, I guess. Anyways, if you by chance see this, please tell me how to do that. You wrote a post that I thought was really nice about love.

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