Today, as I listened to the melancholy song “Say Something I’m Giving Up On You” as I folded laundry….(not thinking of anyone in particular…just it was playing on apple music…) I got those weird melancholy feelings that music gives you, even when you have no reason to be melancholy.
It gave me a very real feeling about the brevity of life and brought back to mind all the haunting painful places I’ve been in…but couldn’t put my finger on at the moment. Just remembering how hard life is and how precious relationships are.
My youngest son came up and sat on the floor in the hall as I folded and I asked about his day.
Same answer as always. “Nothing” and “Fine.”
Okay. There has to be something I can ask to peek into his first grade soul.
“Do you have friends at school?”
“Who’s your best friend?”
“Do you just hang out with a bunch of people? (hopeful?)”
“Yeah.” He names someone I’ve met.
“Oh! That’s lovely! Is he nice to you? Do you have fun together at recess?”
“Well, sometimes.” He hesitates. “Sometimes he says bad words.”
(I’ve heard this before. I figure it must be ‘shut up’.)
“Oh, Wow! What is it? Shut up?”
Squirms… “No. It’s really bad.”
“Oh, my. Well, it can’t be that bad.” I hesitate. Do I really want to know? Do I really want him to tell me? “It’s okay. You can tell me.”
“I tell my teacher when he calls me names and she just tells me to tell him to stop.”
“What does he say?”
Squirms. “It’s a boy part. Then face.” (Looks white as a ghost as he relays this information…) “Except put the two words together.” (Very serious face.)
Oh. My….. (meep.) “Does it start with a D?”
“No… (He hesitates and whispers…) a B. Like Bottom.”
Oh. OKAY! That is MUCH less terrible than what I thought, but clearly there is pain in his face.
“When you tell your friends to stop, what do they say?”
“He just says more. They don’t care if they hurt people.” He pauses and thinks. “One person said they don’t like their brother. Mom, (chokes back a little tear) I don’t think they have feelings!”
My heart melts and I pull in my very precious baby boy to my lap. He actually cares about their hearts and their feelings, even when they are bullies.
“Baby, we don’t know what these little boys go through at home. Maybe someone calls them names? If someone doesn’t have Jesus, they will not have the same love in their hearts and they can hurt other people. We need to pray for your friends.”
My 7 year old immediately goes prostrate on the floor and begins to cry out to Jesus, pouring his feelings out to God and praying for his ‘friends’. I lay on the hall floor beside him with my hand on his precious heart as he prayed, interceding for his heart as he prayed for his friends and drinking in this moment that I will try to make last forever.
I closed in prayer, teaching him to pray to forgive and to pray for God to change the little boys hearts so they will have the love of Jesus.
God, today may I care for those who hurt me, they way my son cares for the little boys who “say bad words to him.”