“Are you there, dad?”
“When are you coming up to say good-night, dad?”
“How many hours will you be gone, dad?”
“You will come back to pick me up, right dad?”
“You won’t forget me, will you dad?”
* * * * *
It seems we’ve returned from our cross-country trip with a suddenly insecure child. There are now few situations where this young one doesn’t get a little teary-eyed, a little nervous, a little clingy.
My response to this wasn’t great in the beginning. Patience is not one of my virtues.
Seriously? Are you kidding me? I thought to myself. Are you three years old? You can deal with this. I know you can.
But no amount of cajoling or pushing or motivating brought peace to that little mind.
And as I think back over the last seven months of our life as a family, I cannot blame this child for feeling insecure. In February, we moved out of a house that all six of us adored. Two weeks later, we ventured out in a big blue bus for four months, changing locations every two to three days, meeting new people and walking strange streets. Now we live in my parents’ basement, looking for a new place, not knowing where we might end up.
So this dear child cries out for some sense of belonging, some reassurance that everything will be okay. I suck it up and encourage my child, through my own frustration.
“It’s going to be okay,” I say.
“I’m always here if you need me,” I say.
“I would never forget you,” I say.
And I am reminded of this:
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
* * * * *
I am terribly insecure these days. Every five minutes I find myself doubting or questioning, wondering or searching, changing my mind or growing angry. One moment I am encouraged and motivated. The next I am heavy-hearted and deflated. But God doesn’t care how many times I need to be reminded. After I shout out or scream or whisper or complain, there is always The Voice – so long as I take the time to listen.
It’s going to be okay.
I’m always here if you need me.
I would never forget you.
10 Replies to “Returning From Our Trip With a Different Child”
Just at a different level than your three year old,huh? I think that’s all of us to a degree.
I’m so there with you. Thanks for the reminder!
Thank you for sharing your insecurity. I am feeling a bit insecure myself. My Mom who had a stroke in March is now a “permanent” resident in the nursing home where she is at. Yesterday, a lot of services to her home were cancelled or disconnected. I’ve felt ungrounded, insecure if you will, since. Her home was my home for 22 years of my life. Her home was the central meeting place for all things Sweitzer; birthdays, holidays, and impromptu visits. What am I going to do when that home is no longer Sweitzer Central as I like to call it. There are 4 of us siblings with 11 grandchildren:; where will “central” be when the common denominator is gone? *sigh*
I think understanding that insecurity is the root is many kinds of personal misunderstandings is key to treating others well in our insecurity. And key to getting out of it eventually. I dislike unsolicited advice, but I want you to read today’s post from my friend Nancy. Outofmyallegedmind.com.
Praying for you, Shawn.
I love it when God speaks to us through our parenting and our precious children.
My prayers sound so very much like those of your young one. So. Very. Much.
Heard a interesting saying this evening: It will all be good when it’s over; if it’s not good, it just isn’t over.
MY YOUNGEST OF THREE CHILDREN IS 47, SO IT HAS BEEN A WHILE SINCE I HAVE DEALT WITH YOUNG TEMPERMENT – IF THAT IS THE RIGHT WORD. I AM TRYING TO REMEMBER WHAT PRESENTED ITSELF, AND HOW IT WAS DEALT WITH. THE THING THAT STANDS OUT IS THAT AT 2 YEARS , MY YOUNGEST DECIDED TO THROW TEMPER TANTRAMS – REAL ONES. POUNDING THE REFRIDGERATOR DOOR, THE WALL, ETC, THEN THROWING HERSELF ON THE FLOOR. SCREAMING, CRYING AND KICKING. THE ONLY WAY I KNEW TO DEAL WITH IT WAS THE MY PARENTS DEALT WITH ‘BAD’ BEHAVIOR. I SMACKED HER BOTTOM.. AT HER NEXT CHECK-UP I ASKED HER PEDITRICAN WHAT TO DO??. HE SAID TO WALK OUT OF THE ROOM, WHERE I FELT BETTER NOT HAVING TO WATCH HER – AND SHE DID NOT HAVE ANYONE TO ‘PUNISH’. GUESS WHAT, IT WORKED. NOW I WONDER IF HOLDING (OR TRYING) TO HOLD HER, WOULD HAVE HELPED, BOTH HER AND MYSELF. I PRAYED FOR GUIDANCE, AND IT CAME IN THE WORDS OF THAT DOCTOR. WE TEND TO TREAT CHILDREN AS WE WERE TREATED, OR IN MY CASE, BETTER THAT I WAS TREATED. HOWEVER, ‘BAD’ BEHAVIOR WAS TREATED WITH A SMACK. I WISH I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. SHAWN YOU ARE MY HERO, AND MAKE ME REALIZE THAT I CAN SEE THINGS WITH A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE, AND YOU DO NOT PRESENT YOURSELF AS ‘PERFECT’,——- WHICH SEEMS TO BE EVERYONE’S GOAL.
My little girl did the same thing to me, except we were in a parking lot (not busy, thank goodness!) and I couldn’t walk out the door. But I had just read an article about temper tantrums and the best advice it gave was to ignore the tantrum and the child. I was calmly standing beside a kicking, screaming, crying 2 year old lying in the middle of a parking lot! A very distinguished older gentleman walked passed and watched me and my daughter. He shook his head and turned around and walked back to us. “Do you need help?” I told him “no”. “Can I do something for her?” “Nope. She needs to get it out of her system.” He turned around and walked to his car. He sat in his car for 15 minutes until she finally stopped crying and I took her hand and walked to my car. As he drove past us, he had the biggest smile on his face! He either thought I was certifiably crazy or a really good Mom. I hope the latter!
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