Sunday, June 27, 2010


My adorable, stubborn, energetic-off-the-chart, smart, rowdy, and hilarious 3 year old son asked me the sweetest (and very thought provoking) question today.  It needs a little set up.  My son has a few favorite stuffed animals.  You would only know they are favorites because he carries them with him everywhere and sleeps with them every night.  You would never think he cared for them at all because of the way he abuses them.  They are thrown, dragged, kicked, stuffed, swung, wrung, and stretched every day.  A few days ago, my son was being particularly rough on Wubby, one of his favorite babies (the blue one in the pics).  In concern for Wubby, I intervened and told my baby boy to stop swinging Wubby around and hitting him on the door frame.  He, of course, asked, "Why, Mommy?"  I, trying to answer on a 3 year old's level, said, "Because Wubby will get holes in him if you keep slinging him around like that."  With great concern on his face he hugged Wubby and said, "Okay, Mommy.  I sorry.  I stop."
Today, I was trying to get out of my church clothes and into something comfortable and suitable for doing absolutely nothing around the house.  My son would not stop hanging on to me--literally.  He had wrapped himself around my legs and was yelling, "I HUNGY, Mommy!  I HUNGY!!!  I want my wunch."  I peeled him off of me and swung him around in the air, put him in a cradle hold and spun a few circles.  He was giggling and suddenly stopped, looked up at me with those milk-chocolate eyes, and asked in the sweetest voice, "Mommy, am I going to get holes in me?"  I immediately recalled the Wubby incident from Thursday.  "No baby.  You won't get holes in you.", I said with tears in my eyes as I sat him down.  "Good." he said.  "I hungy, Mommy."

As I changed out of my church clothes, it struck me that I had lied to my son.  Life would fill him full of holes, as it does all of us.  Holes from being left out of playground games, not being "good enough", being called a name, being lied to, making bad choices, being embarrassed, unfair circumstances, deserved and undeserved consequences, hurt feelings, angry words, rejection, losses, and broken hearts.  Everyone's list is different, but we're all full of holes.  Some gaping.  It is scary to think of the holes my children will get (and have gotten) in them.  How many holes have/will I put there?  Which ones can I take for them or prevent from happening?  How do I prepare them for what's coming?  How do I help them not cause holes in others?

While my thoughts became overwhelmed by what might happen to this sweet little boy as he grows up,  I sliced some homemade artisan bread to use for lunch.  I had never realized how many holes are in the bread.  I forgot that the larger air holes told the baker (in this case, me) that the right amount of liquid had been used in the making of the dough.  A bread that is too dry has smaller and fewer holes and will stale more quickly.  Hmmm.  How timely.  The holes make the bread better.  Could the holes in us make our lives better in some ways?  I don't want my kids to live "dry" lives just to keep from being filled with holes.  As much as I want to protect them from life's pain, I know I can't succeed all of the time.  I guess my role as a parent is to teach them how to heal and learn from what life hands them.  I've not done a very good job so far.  I let the little things really drag me down and I'm too afraid of big-hole-causing events. Worry is not a healthy habit.  I know people who walk around with open wounds; never healing or moving forward.  I also know people who have suffered more than I can imagine and live beauty-filled lives.  

So now I've got to learn how to live the way I want my children to live.  I suppose that's the never-ending-cycle of parenthood--teaching your children how to live through each stage of life.  Tough job, this parenting thing, but soooooo worth it. 

Holes and all. 

Oh, and did I mention, it's okay to arm yourself for this challenging life?  

Preferably with a giant sword. 

Go get'em son!  Just don't hurt Wubby...or break your mother's heart.

1 comment:

  1. Wow so beautifully written...made me a little teary eyed. Reminds me of one of Andy Stanley's podcast in his series "It came from Within" He talks about sitting on his children's bed at night asking them if anyone hurt their heart that day. And how important it is to guard our hearts and examine feelings, emotions, etc even at such an early age. It's a great series if like to listen to podcasts and he also wrote a book with the same title I believe.