How is it that I can still be so blown away by the compassion in the heart of my sons for their little sister? Why do I not give them the credit they deserve? How can they be my teachers aren't I suppose to be that for them?
It's the last week of school here and my children are busy with Christmas parties, programs and finishing up their last bit of school responsibilities. My oldest son Cooper had to bring a wrapped book appropriate for 4th grade reading to exchange with his classmates during their Christmas party. When he came home that afternoon I asked him about his party and he began to tell me about it. He finished his recount of the party by telling me that he ended up with a girl book, meaning it wasn't a book a self respecting 4th grade boy would be caught dead reading.
I don't know what came over me, I have no excuse for the awfulness that spewed from my mouth. I will not even waste your time by trying to make futile excuses. I said to him, "Why, why did you come home with a girl book? Why would you do that? Did you tell your teacher that you ended up getting a girl book?" His response was "No, ma'am." I barely even listened for his answer before I continued spewing, "Why not? I spent $7.00 on your book and now you have come home with nothing to read."
He quietly told me that he didn't tell his teacher or try to trade his book because he wanted to give it to Sophie. Even then I wasn't buying it, I told him he was just making excuses for why he didn't tell someone and get his book swapped out, he wasn't going to give that book to his sister. "Yes ma'am" he said to me, "I wanted to give it to Sophie" and he proceeded to hand the book to me. I opened up the front cover of that hot pink book and found this inscription inside the front cover "To: Sophie Kate, From: Cooper." He then added, "I thought we could read her a chapter every night."
The next words I spoke will never be enough to undue the damage I had done to the very core of that child, because by this point he had been hurt so deeply that tears were streaming down his face. "I'm sorry," I said as the tears fell hard from eyes as well. "I'm so sorry" and I was...sorry for the hurtful words I had said, sorry for pain I had caused my son and utterly disgusted with myself that I was concerned that we were not going to get anything for the $7.00 I had spent on the book he took to the party, a sad commentary I know.
I'm not painting a very pretty picture, I'm aware of that, but this is real stuff here folks...the good, the bad and the very very ugly. I have never sugar coated things to make everyone feel comfortable and warm & fuzzy and I'm not going to start now. It was a teaching moment there in our family room, one in which I felt about the size of a cracker crumb, but a teaching moment none the less. The ironic part though is that I wasn't the teacher...and here I thought we weren't going to get anything in return for our $7.00...ouch...table for one with a huge serving of humble pie please.
I feel very compelled to share what God is doing in our lives and while I didn't come out "smellin' like roses" in this particular episode, it speaks volumes about my oldest son. God is changing Cooper's heart through all of this just like He is changing mine, some of us just require a whole lot more work than others. I'm so thankful for the gift of forgiveness this week. I am going to leave you with one of my favorite pictures of Cooper and Sophie Kate.
Psalm 130:3-4 "If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you."
Thanks for checking in on us.