Halloween is over. We have three very large bags of candy in my pantry. Like we need candy.
Chloe and Jillian really had a good time trick-or-treating; they ran from house to house and were enthusiastically announcing what kind of candy they got from each house. On the other hand, Nathan was very subdued and used the time to talk to me about things on his heart.
He began with, "I don't think I have a very good life."
Talk about stabbing a mother in the heart. Quick prayer -- Lord, please help me to deal with his feelings. To not get defensive and to acknowledge that his feelings are legitimate. And to provide encouragement that will turn him to the Truth...
So, I asked him to tell me more about his feelings. He said that he was upset because his dad sleeps a lot and I am busy all the time - either at work or doing homework or trying to catch up on sleep. Again, stab. Mom guilt splattered all over the place. Deep breath.
I'm sorry Buddy. I don't want you to think that your dad and I don't have time to spend with you. What do you think we should do about it?
He didn't know. He just knew that he was feeling lonely and sad.
For a long time, we've been working on teaching Nathan thankfulness. He has a tendency to look at the negatives in life and to immediately think that if one thing is wrong, the whole she-bang is bad.
So, I tried to turn it around. What is he happy about in his life? What is he thankful for?
He can't think of anything.
Lord, please don't let me get frustrated!!!
So, I took a new approach. I told him some stories about the chidlren that I deal with on a daily basis... The ones that are bruised and scarred by their fathers. The ones that are screamed at every day by their mothers who don't know how to parent - or who are so devastated themselves that they can barely hang on. I told him about children who come to me after living in their cars, after living on the streets and after being abandoned by the ones who are supposed to love them.
He was quiet and took it all in.
I asked him again, what does he have to be thankful for?
He said, "I get it Mom."
And then he smiled. And rang off to ring a doorbell.
When he came back he held my hand and we walked toward the next door...