Monday, March 25, 2013

Celebrating Six

Yep, that's right! Our little man is six years old today!

However, his day was not all "easy, breezy" like I had hoped. I volunteered to drive on his field trip this morning, and carted our birthday boy and three of his buddies in my van. It was a great time, except for one major oversight on my part. Here's the back story...

Last year, at his five-year-old checkup, he was still several pounds under forty, which is the recommended weight to get out of the five-point harness carseat. I asked the pediatrician if he could graduate to the booster and he said we really needed to wait until forty pounds.

So, rule-follower that I am, we waited. All year he's hovered just under forty. It was never a big deal until today. When his buddies got in the car and asked "why are you sitting in a baby seat?" Thus began a long discussion about carseats and baby seats and booster seats and how old everyone is and blah, blah, blah. I hear my son say "I want to sit in a bigger seat but my mom won't let me." Meanwhile I'm thinking, "ok, anybody want to get out and MISS THE FIELDTRIP?!" How dare they hurt my baby's feelings...and on his birthday to top it off!

The teacher jumped in at that point with some encouraging words about how she's really glad he was willing to sit in that seat and not let it bother him because we needed all the seats and had nowhere else to put the carseat. I caught his eye in the rearview mirror and I'm pretty sure he was trying to decide if he should let her know this actually is his usual seat, or just let it go and take this new exit out of the babyseat discussion.

When we got out of the van he asked me in private, "Mom, can we take out my carseat? They were making fun of me" and I could tell he was fighting to hold back tears. It certainly didn't help that the carseat discussion was resumed for several minutes on the ride back to school later in the day. This was truly a Kindergarten Crisis!

By the end of the field trip I was feeling so bad for him I thought I might need more counseling than him. I just kept envisioning them all in 6th grade and one of the boys looking at him across the lunch table saying, "Hey, do you still have to sit in the babyseat?!" When I told my husband about the situation later, he had lots of wise advice about how to coach our son through tough things like this...with the realization that there will be many more such situations, and they will only get tougher as he gets older!

Jon was right, but I couldn't seem to stop thinking "why didn't I just think of this last night and SWITCH the carseat for a booster BEFORE the fieldtrip?"

But hindsight is always 20/20. And if we didn't walk through these hard things and learn to think like Jesus and act like Jesus and respond like Jesus, then we'd never really grow up. We might keep getting older, but would we grow more mature? No. Its the tough stuff that shapes and sharpens.

And while its fun to run around dressed up like a superhero,

what really makes us tough, is learning to cling tightly to the only real Hero -- Jesus Christ.

Then we have genuine strength and power to live out James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

And while being told you sit in a babyseat may not sound like much of a hardship in the adult world, this is a trial of epic proportions for a six-year old boy (and his mother!). And I want to have the wisdom (James 1:5) to walk my son and daughters through such trials with a biblical mindset, so they come out grasping more tightly to the hand of the Lord.  

At the end of it all, our prayer for our sweet birthday boy remains the same today as it was six years ago when he was born:
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:8-9)

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