When Our Babies Fall Down

As I sit down to right this, I know that I must hurry.  In approximately 20 minutes, Zeke will get off the bus--and since we live out in the country that means he is let off right at the end of our driveway with no going to the bus stop involved (a sweet deal really when you have another napping little one)--and our evening "chaos" will ensue.  Although, please know that while sometimes it is TRUE chaos given grumpy moods, bad days, general fatigue, usually what I refer to as chaos is simply the loudness and excitement that ensues once everyone is home from school or work.  But whether the chaos is good or bad, it leaves little time for me to write or have quiet time, so THAT is why I must hurry.

Oddly though, it is about Zeke getting off the bus that I want to write about for a bit.  You see, his Wednesday night Bible school teacher called to tell me she wasn't going to come in because the roads in her neck of the woods were still icy and being that Zeke is the only one in her class, she didn't feel it necessary for me to get out in the questionable weather just to bring him in.  I appreciate that more than you can know, but I digress.  The idea of it being icy provoked a thought since I hadn't been out of the house at all today: if it truly is icy, what if Zeke were to slip and fall on his way into the house?  Don't ask why that thought occurred to me, it just did.

Of course, if he did fall, he'd potentially be hurt, but hopefully nothing more than a scrape or bruise, but as I have found with MOST of my falls in life, it is my pride that is hurt the most.  If upon the realization that I've truly taken a dive I know I am not hurt, my first thought is, "GEESH!  I hope NO one saw that!"  ...but usually someone did.  And then I feel so graceful and cool as I try to pick myself up and move on.  But that is how I feel when I fall down.  When we see our kids fall, it hurts in a WHOLE new one and much deeper.  I imagined myself standing at the front door watching him take that last final (and rather large) step off the bus and then take off running towards me only to slip and fall.  As I stood there imagining in my flip-flops in the warmth of the house, I knew what I would do.  Screw the cold and potential falling hazards!  Screw what other people might think!  I'd run to him!  It is just that hard to see our babies fall down.

However, how many times in his 7 and half years on this earth has he fallen down and I haven't even known it?  Or haven't run to his aid or COULDN'T run to his aid?  Or...as hard as it is to think about...how many times I have I caused him to fall down?  Of course with that last question, I am not referring the literal act of falling down but to the emotional equivalent.

Everyday, as we venture out onto the heated, screened-in front porch to wait for the bus, I am in awe that my baby is even old enough to go to school.  As I see his bus approach and send him out the door and watch him walk confidently to the bus, I am in awe that he is even old enough to take those steps.  Wasn't he just a baby toddling around?!   He loves school (although is approaching that age where loving school is not necessarily cool so he won't always admit it) but he truly does love getting on the bus and riding the entire one mile to that place where his friends are and his teacher whom he really likes and school lunches which also really likes (I count myself VERY lucky in that department).  To that place where even through the occassion struggle he learns so much and enjoys learning it.  Even with his love of school though, each grade has come with some downsides too.  Those proverbial "fall-downs" that send him home heartbroken and sad.  Those days hurt.  They hurt alot.  Because I can't and didn't see what exactly happened and therefore can only offer the best hug and support I can from what he tells me.  I am just so grateful that he is a happy hearted little guy and resilient to those not so great moments.  Mommy--on the other hand--takes those moments a bit harder and therefore gets a whee bit sentimental.

It makes me work harder though at NOT being the cause of any more "fall-downs" than necessary.  You know those not-so-great mothering moments: when you lose your temper with one child because another one has driven you crazy, when you are in a generally bad mood--and for no fault of your child's--and take out your negative feelings on them anyway, or when you are just plain tired and feel alone and react negatively to a simple question from your child.  It's those moments when you see the light in your child's eyes dim away because of your own sharp and unnecessary words.  We ALL have those moments--don't let ANYONE tell you they don't.  But I guess the important thing in being a loving parent is to remember to embrace our child(ren) after we've made those mistakes and remind them of our love for them and how we acted wrongly. 

Well...I must cut this short.  Zeke is off the bus.  Levi is up from his nap.  Our evening "chaos" has begun and need to dive into it head first.