Thursday, June 12, 2008
44 Verses, a Trophy and a Broken Heart
(Just for the record...I should totally be sleeping now. My mom is here and we nearly pulled an all-nighter talking last evening but I'm back in blog mode so here goes...)
Seriously, is there anything harder in life? I mean, the bad times are hard and let's face it...the good times even have their measure of difficult. Even if you're having a moment where you feel no frustration, you're suddenly hit with bouts of reality that these miniature people are like having your heart walk around with legs and arms! The potential for pain with parenting is possible leaning more to expected!
You know, I was never the popular one in school in regards to trophies and awards. Never the "best" at anything. I wanted to be. I can remember that pull at every awards ceremony or Spring formal. I wanted to be on top in regards to something.
I think over time I've accepted that I'm just one of millions of average people that will not be the winner. I'm cool with it. I've got my peeps that I love and to them, maybe I bring a little amusement to the table. That's enough for me...been there-dealt with that.
And then I have kids...
Is it any surprise that they are normal and just like I was?...wanting their named called in recognition. Wanting the prize.
The next to the last day of school was class awards day. I went to Sam's room for the presentation and when they began to hand out trophies for the verse memorization...I got my camera ready! Sam and I had been memorizing diligently all year and there was no doubt in my mind that he would get a trophy. I could tell that he held the same confidence. He had the biggest smile on his face and got on tip-toes to spring up to get his first ever trophy!
Sadly, the names were all called and to my shock...he was not one of them.
And if I was shocked...Sam was something way more.
To sit in a crowd and see that look of utter disappointment on his face was a killer. Sam is not one to EVER be emotional (almost to the point of concern for me). Things really slide off his back but when they didn't call his name and his face dropped, I saw him mouth to his friend, "But...But I said all my verses?"
If you could have bottled that feeling inside of me at that moment and let me sip a bit of it ten years ago, I have to be honest...I may not have decided to have children.
My heart broke for him. I know it's just a silly trophy but to him...it was everything.
Apparently when I had the flu around Christmas, we missed 1 verse. Somehow the knowledge of that slipped through the cracks and we fell short.
Sam made it out of his classroom and safely away from his friends when he started to cry.
What could I say? It wasn't really his fault. It was just one of those life events that you have to accept and I recognize that it was...and this is hard to say...good for him to walk through it for greater disappointments and rejections to come.
I had a friend ask me if I planned on giving him a trophy myself and I said "no". First, it would never be as meaningful to him. Had my mom put me in a Spring Formal line-up and a crown on my head at home after my senior party, I would have rolled my eyes at her. Those moments that you win are great-they can't really be beat with a consolation! :)
And, you don't always win. Hard fact but true. It's so much better to learn to be a good loser because honestly, you lose ALOT more than you win, right?
If I had it my way I would bubble up my kids so they'd never feel pain or rejection or loss. I'd confine them to only happy days of picnics and bike rides and Christmas mornings. They would always be most popular and accepted and they'd never break a leg. They'd stand out in a crowd and never go unnoticed. Yep, that's what I'd do.
But that wouldn't be what God would do.
Doesn't he "let the bubble pop" in our lives and puts us out there to live with all the difficulty and hardship that we need so we can know that He is our safe home and there's a life waiting for us that is the ideal. I believe we only go as far as He will let us but regardless...He does let us go. He lets us learn through suffering. He never waists our pain.
Sam ended his night that awards day by telling me that he prayed to God and said, "You are the one in charge of trophies. If you choose to give me one then great! And if you don't-that will be okay too."
Sweet boy...if only he could really see the trophy that awaits him.
Meanwhile, the bubble has officially popped for Sambo and I'll always be sitting in the crowd to remind him that I'm his "safe home" and that together, we can look forward to heaven where we ALL win because of Christ's love.