My son looked at me with puffy eyes, hiccuping his words between sobs... "Will it have to go in the trash? I don't want it to go in the trash!"
He could hardly stop his crying to get the words out.
A broken whopee cushion.
You can imagine the ranting that was going on inside my head over this emotional display about a two dollar toy that farts.
I am sure I said a few unhelpful things.
In fact, I was seething.
This kid was being RIDICULOUS. And it was highly inconvenient, I might add, considering all this laundry that needs folding.
I told him to sit and get himself together while I worked on the laundry. He stared at the toy on the ground, took a few deep jagged breaths, and then collapsed into a flood of sadness all over again.
I tried to block it out. He sobbed.
I folded. He hiccuped.
I matched some socks. He sniffed.
I took a deep breath. I looked at the hymns I have posted by the dryer.
(I post them there to have something to fill my head with other than complaints while I deal with inside-outs and sock trauma. Sometimes it helps.)
While life's dark maze I tread,
while griefs around me spread,
be Thou my guide...
Griefs around me. I paused.
Seriously, a broken whopee cushion can't count as grief, can it God?
Doesn't he know that there are so many more horrible things in this world to be crying over!?
...no, actually he doesn't.
He was having fun, and the fun broke. In his world, that is horribly sad.
OK fine, God, if I am supposed to care about this stupid whopee cushion, what do you want me to do about it?
You don't have to care about that.
Care about him.
I took another deep breath. I walked away from the unfolded clothes and I asked him to come give me a hug. (Hugs are great for those times I'm not sure I can stop the eye-rolling.)
I hugged him, and he seemed relieved. We talked about how sad it is that stuff breaks, that none of the things we have last forever. (OK, I remember. He's right, that is sad.)
We talked about how much better it will be in heaven when we have eternal life and there will be no more tears and no more broken stuff.
"But mommy, it's gonna be a long, long time until Jesus comes."
"We don't know that, honey. But we can look forward to it together."
For the rest of the day I was laughing at myself.
I just sat with a child in his whopee-cushion grief and pointed him to Jesus.
This job is ridiculous.
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