I am one ticked-off mom right now. Three days in a row, my son has come home with a tale of being called another not-so-good name (from two different kids), and I’m sick of it. I’m angry. I’m sad. I want to go rip their arms off. Very Jesus-y of me, no?
Today my sweet boy was told to, “Shut up, loser”. That was the mildest of the three. This would anger you even more if you knew Jack. He’s got about the sweetest spirit ever. I was just thinking about him earlier today…a year or two ago, I had given him and his sister some money specifically to give away, for the exercise of it, and he wanted to give it to his five-year-old friend, Carter, in case he needed another heart surgery. Yes, this is the kid who is getting called names.
So I saw him come sulking up the driveway today off the bus and went out to shoot hoops with him to try and pry the story out of him.(Little tip: it worked.)Well, I asked questions and listened, and then gave my mom peptalk.
“Jack, sometimes kids are just plain mean.Not always, but sometimes.Be kind to the ones who are kind to you.And be respectful but don’t engage those who are not.”Then I started revving up a bit, I could tell, and I let my righteous anger do the talking.
“Who are you?” I asked him.
“Jack,” he said.
“And who loves you?” I asked.
“Jesus,” he answered.
“Who else?” I asked.
“You,” he said.
“Are you smart?”
“Are you funny?”
“Are you fast?”
“Sort of.” “Yes, you are.”
“Are you kind?”
“Are you loved?”
“Then don’t forget it,” I finished, swooshing the ball into the basket.(Just kidding — totally missed, but it sounded like a better basketball-peptalk kind of ending.)
And don’t you forget it either. No matter what anyone else may say to you – including that darned voice in your head – you are loved. Completely and perfectly, to the moon and back. Let the power of true words overtake the power of hurting words each and every time, until they lose their power. Swoosh.