Another mother takes her place in an ever winding, long line of women who step up and do the hard stuff expected and required within the role of motherhood. Her seven year old son, who is typically kind, a lover of details, caring, and energetic thought two girls in his class should be the receivers of his swearing. I have no doubt that he knew it was wrong when it was rumbling around in his noggin looking for a place to exit. I’m sure he knew that when his words that hurt found their target by landing in the hearts and heads of his classmates, he had made a mistake. However, to insure that he would learn from his mistake, his mama stepped in and she stepped up and she helped him remember that mistakes often have consequences. She let us know that everything that he holds dear was removed from his room for a while. She let us know how dissappointed she was in his actions. She wanted us to know she and he would make it right.
I can imagine that when he got home and she reminded him of his wrong doing, the pain he caused, and the work the lie ahead that he cried and felt bad. I can envision tears on his cheeks and lips trembling. I’m so very sure he was sorry for that word spoken in a moment of frustration. Another mother, though, gets to work and lets him know that mistakes have consequences and that the righting of the wrong will need to be attempted. Another mother sits beside her son and has him write not one, but two letters of apology. The first one is to his teacher and in it he tells her that he is sorry. He promises to be good and he promises it won’t happen again. He signs his name and another mother makes sure he reads it outloud the next day to his classmates and teacher while she stands behind him watching. The second letter is to the two girls and he also tells them he is sorry. He uses their names in his apology and he promises he won’t be a bully again. He signs his name to that letter also and reads it outloud the very next day to his classmates and teacher while his mama stands watching.
I fight back tears as I look around the room. Busy kindergarteners and first graders silent and still. Amazingly so on this last day before Spring Break. The girls smile their forgiveness to him while he waits up front. His teacher nods her approval and understanding and tells him thank-you. His mama makes sure all is well under her watch. She makes sure her job is done. She makes sure his job his done too. She apologizes to our class for interupting and she leaves our room satisfied in the collective work of son and mother completed together. I tell him later how incredibly brave he was and I thank him for doing the right thing as sometimes the right thing is often difficult to do. I tell him in front of his classmates, so that he too, can benefit from the beauty and power of words spoken. Later, I think to myself, I need to tell his mama, another mother, how thankful I am for her work. I realize I need to tell her that she has a beautiful boy who is so incredibly blessed to have her as his mama.
May you find today courage to do the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way.
Love to you all in this season of Hope.