Friday, April 16, 2010

What You Didn't See

What you saw: A young, skinny cub scout crying his heart out as a heartless mother walks ahead of him coldly ignoring his sobs and hiccups.

What you didn't see: A boy who spent the past three days getting angry with his mother over every little single thing she did for him. It was her fault he left his shoes out in the rain, and her fault he didn't do his homework before bedtime, and her fault that there was only green beans and no carrots for the vegetable at dinner. It was obviously her fault that the first two shirts he put on for school were stained or had holes in them, and she was cruel enough to find him a clean pair of socks 1 minute later than he wanted them. So, after days of abuse topped by an extremely bad day of little boy yelling at his mom for everything, the mom goes to pick her son up from cub scouts and (after mom has sat for 15 minutes in the parking lot with 3 kids and a crying baby so that he can have extra time to play with friends) interrupts his game of dodgeball (which had him crying because someone dared to hit him with a soft Nerf ball) to tell him it is time to go home... well, I'm sure you can guess his reaction. Apparently it is her fault that cub scouts ends at 8:15pm on a school night with a 20 minute drive home. So this mom had a very calm but serious talking-to with this young boy and the boy didn't like it. Mom basically says, "You keep apologizing to me for the things you say and do to me. From now on I don't want your apologies, I just want to see you change!" And then the sobbing started.

What you also didn't see the next day (and following 3 days): A son who has been very respectful, loving, and helpful. I've seen him tense up in anger, catch himself, take a breath, and choose a better way to deal. Sometimes parenting means making your child cry and looking bad in front of others, but sometimes it's what a child needs to realize that they can be a better person.

So, to the person who saw my boy crying and gave me a look that said, "Why aren't you comforting your little guy? What kind of mother are you?" I just want to say that you didn't see everything.

12 comments:

Lucy van Pelt said...

That is EVERY reason why you can never judge another parent. There's just no way we can know the whole story.

Lara said...

No one ever does. Whenever I jump to conclusions about someone else I have to remind myself that I don't know the whole story.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Amen. You put it perfectly. And you give me hope that some day my boy will start regulating himself better :) !!

sariqd said...

This needs to be printed on a t-shirt or something. I really hate those "looks" that I get when I'm talking to my kids in a firm voice and disciplining them. For crying out loud, I'm not whipping them! Yikes.

Aunt LoLo said...

Good on you!

Aubrey said...

Sucha good reminder to never judge another, especially a parent cuz you really don't know the whole story. What a good mom you are!

DJzoey said...

THANK YOU!!! This is what every mother has experienced. Thank you for painting the whole story and opening the eyes of the judgmental person who never saw the whole event played out... just a small glimpse into our lives during a harder time

Mychelle said...

The "What you didn't see" seemed like what the girl quoted on labyrinth about the angry baby and the goblin king. Good post. Liked it a lot.

The Leinonen family said...

Amen liz

The Leinonen family said...

Amen Liz!

Rochelle said...

I gotta tell you, I have had this same moment with both my boys. I have been embarrassed by the looks. But I can be a little embarrassed to save them from a lot of pain later. You're right. Its part of being a mother. At least you were calm, and actually gave him the play time. Mine took the play time and I walked into the church and in front of everyone there said "This is NOT mom's happy face." Lets just say that I also didn't use a happy voice!

Rebekah said...

I love it! Kudos to you Mom!