Rarely in parenting do you ever get something tangible to prove that you are not completely effing up your kids. At least in my parenting.
In my parenting, I can draw you a road map of crap my kids will definitely reference during their future therapy sessions.
Most days it feels more like a crap shoot than a calculated, formulaic, method based on trial and error and other things that require skills that I lack.
I went to a Mom’s Night Out for a homeschool co-op I am involved with. “Mom’s Night Out” is code word for “Shit I Dread”, just in case you are not familiar.
A bunch of women, who homeschool, get together and put on their best faces and talk about….homeschooling and kids. Often people try and get their “holy” on during these conversations and events.
It scares me because, well, I am not that good at getting my holy on. I usually inadvertently get my jackass on, and therein lies the trouble. But that is the subject of another post.
To be fair, not everyone lacks authenticity, but it is difficult for me to see past the culture of homeschooling into the reality of who people actually are in that environment.
I always end up saying too much, leaving raw and awkward and wondering why I went in the first place. In earlier years, events like this have caused me no end of anxiety and questions about whether my kids would actually be better served in the hands of the “professional” teachers, rather than my own, obviously inept ones.
So, as soon as it was over, I was trying to high tail my ass outta there, when a mom that I was not familiar with stopped me at the door.
“Hey, Tasha. I have been wanting to talk to you about your kids.”
Oh, crap. Which kids?
It just didn’t sound promising. I was scared and had one foot out the door wondering if I should take it outside to hear what she had to say, so the rest of the ladies didn’t get a piece of it.
“Your son Jonah and your daughter Jamesyn. They are in the same three classes as my son, Giovanni.”
I remembered my boy had told me that he had made a friend named Giovanni. Jamesyn had said that he liked to be called, GiGi. Jamesyn has since confessed that GiGi is “cute”, followed up with a giggle.
“Oh, yeah. I remember Jonah mentioned that he had made a friend named GiGi”, I said.
“Well, I just wanted to tell you that it is really hard for Giovanni to make friends. Kids make fun of him or ask him what is wrong with him. You know how kids are? They can be really mean. And they are to him, sometimes.”
At first I was blank, wracking my brain trying to figure out why her son would have a hard time making friends. Then I remembered the face of a gorgeous little boy who looked to be around 7. The same age as Jonah.
Except this little boy is in a wheelchair.
“Well, I watched Jonah the first day he met Giovanni. I stay in the classes with him, just to…you know?”
And I did know. I saw the pain in her face, the fierceness that said, “I’m not going to let someone hurt my baby. Even if he is 7. Not if I can help it.”
“Well, Jonah, he never asked him about his chair, you know? He just looked at it for a second. And then he asked him his name. Then they were just..friends. And that is how it has been ever since. I just wanted to thank you for that. For raising kids like that.”
I realized then, that Jonah had never mentioned that GiGi was in a chair when he told me about his new friend.
I felt the tears behind my eyes. I realized as much as this woman felt blessed by my son. I felt blessed by her. She had given me something. Something real. A tangible piece of evidence that the things I believe and am trying to get my kids to believe isn’t all in vain.
Things like men are equal and have value not because they have legs that work like ours or skin that is the same color, but because God said that He created them in His image and that is what sets men apart.
At the end of the day, I don’t care if they go to college and have great jobs with all the success in the world if they are basically sucky human beings. I want my kids to get something. I want them to understand that a man’s worth is not defined by what he does, but who he is.
At that moment, I didn’t care that I had out jackassed everyone in that room. There was something holy in that moment.
He had out holy-ed them all. And it was beautiful.