There’s just something I feel is magical about the country and I just never can get enough of it. The tulip festival today was absolutely breathtaking and I wish I could go back again tomorrow…and the next day…and the next….
Whenever we are out as a family I’ll often ask if anyone would like to play with my camera. Of course that’s a scary idea….I love my camera and it would NOT be cheap to replace, but the outcome is worth the risk. I’ve taught them all, even the three year old, how to use it but I usually try to pick the child with the least sticky fingers. 🙂 Most of the time I don’t stage anything with them, I simply hang out and live how we normally would letting them capture what they wish. Truth be told I then have to go back through my camera and delete about 300 unusable photos…but what remains is sometimes the sweetest things.
You’d never be able to tell from these photos, but a huge disaster happened today. Yes, I have it all on my camera, but out of respect for my child I won’t use their name or share any of the pictures publicly. This particular individual wasn’t paying attention and accidentally
walked ran straight into an entire pit of mud…mud so deep it was up to my child’s knees. Their shoes came off and stayed stuck in the thick gooey mud, and my child’s legs were covered.
Many people saw what had happened and did not hold back in their laughter. Of course, my child heard it all. Tears followed. As the bystanders walked away I held this sweet child’s face and said I would never leave, we’d figure it out together, and that I would be right there to help every step of the way. The aftermath took quite some time to clean up. We were far, far out in the fields without a hose, without wipes, with no change of clothes and nowhere near the farm house. All I had was my sweater to wipe off the mud.
There were more people who remained watching, with more laughter and more whispers behind our backs. We stuck together and went about our business trying to fix what had happened. I continued to reassure, continued to have my child listen to me rather than the ugly voices and continued to remind my child we were in this together. As the clean up continued and neared it’s end I heard a small quiet voice from my child….”I love you, mom.”
It was all I could do to hold back the tears. I knew in that moment he felt cared for, but it didn’t come without great effort. Here we were surrounded by such beauty, hoping to have an amazing day together, yet struggling in this trial of not only being incredibly dirty but being made fun of. This child didn’t leave my side the rest of the day. We held our dry muddy hands together as often as we could.
My child was clearly humiliated and beyond embarrassed…yet those moments were some of the sweetest of the day today. I hated for us both to have to go through that yet for some reason I wouldn’t trade it either. I want to truly “see” my children when they go through situations like this because they become some of the most meaningful and significant teaching/bonding moments as a mother.
More than good grades, more than athletic awards, more than all of the accolades they might ever receive I pray that my children will leave our home knowing what it means to “see” others, to be kind, and to love well. And I pray that in some small way I might play a tiny role in getting to model that for them. My hope is that they would see hurting kids and run to them rather than away from them. It’s always going to be the easy route to make fun or laugh at others. Joining in on what is mainstream will be the most comfortable thing to do. To go against the grain, show kindness, and draw near to the brokenhearted is sometimes the most courageous, unpopular, scary and messy thing to do. I pray that my children would learn to truly open their eyes to look for those who are struggling, to stick up for those who are being made fun of, and love well those who need encouragement or help.
We’ve all been there at one time or another, the one being mocked, teased or made fun of. Today was our day and I’m sure it won’t be the last. When it was all said and done I was able to talk through all of what had happened with my child and tried as best as I could to emphasize what that felt like for us to be on the receiving end of the poking fun. All it takes is one person, one set of eyes, all it takes is one to make the effort…and even the most crushed spirit can be saved. I am fairly confident that after today my kid will begin to see other kids in a new light….especially the ones who need some extra care and love.