I know that I'm talking about Conner again, but he just keeps providing me with great material. Here are two new ones from this Friday.
Conner is very much attached to his shorts. If you need a little background on this obsession go here. Conner has this particular pair of shorts (navy blue, twill, just your basic shorts) that he has probably worn 3 days a week for the past 2 years. These are the shorts that he puts on immediately after getting home from school. He loves them, but at this point they are trashed. Holes all over the place. It's pretty embarrassing. But for some reason I keep washing them and placing them back into his drawer. For a long time I've been threatening to get rid of them. And those were always idle threats, until today. I saw him climbing on something from behind and there was this massive hole right below the bum pocket just glaring at me. Right then I told him that we were trashing the shorts tomorrow, they have too many holes, and today was his last day to wear them. There was a brief moment of whining, "but, mom" . . . and the subject passed.
So this evening we were sitting at our pre-ward activity dinner of Fruit Loops (I knew the kids were not going to eat baked potatoes). Conner finished and I asked him to go get dressed. He went to his room and a few moments later returned to the kitchen wearing nothing but his underwear and carrying his shorts. I asked, "what are you doing?" He replies, "I'm throwing these in the garbage." I just about fell out of my chair. If he was serious, I knew I was about to witness a huge moment in Brown family history. I managed to keep it together long enough to say, "Wow, Conner. What a great job. I'm so proud of you." He opened the garbage, tossed the shorts in with a heavy sigh and in a very solemn voice said, "I'm really going to miss them." Then he turns around, shoulders hunched over, head down and slowly walks back to his bedroom. This performance was like nothing I have ever seen come out of this kid. Wow. It also made me a little sad to realize just how much he loved those shorts.
Later he came out, dressed & ready to go, telling me again how much he's going to miss his shorts. I again commended him on his bravery & courage and we made a deal that when it gets warmer we will go shopping and he can pick out a new pair of shorts. That seemed to make things better. But I think I will forever have printed in my memory the image of my skinny little boy, wearing nothing but underwear, walking away from the trash can in mourning.
Conner's school teacher (Mrs. G) has recently been dealing with a health crisis in her family. Her little 2 year old boy had several seizures over spring break and so they've been going to doctors to try to figure out why. For the majority of this week (at least 3 days) he has had a sub, and his sub is a very nice woman from our ward (Sis. S). Today I was waiting with Conner until Sis. S came to pick up the class and she stopped to talk with me for a moment. First she had to say how great Conner has been -- this darling woman always has something nice to say.
Then she went on to tell me how they had been discussing in class the problems with Mrs. G's son and what they could do to help or show that they are thinking of them. Things like making cards, etc. Then Conner raises his hand and suggests that they could fast for him. (what a sweetheart). Later the teacher's assistant asked Sis. S what fasting was, or what Conner meant. She explained what fasting is and that it's something we do in our church. To which the TA asked, "what church do you belong to?" The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Oh, this is Conner's roundabout missionary moment. The TA went on to say that when she had taken a group out for reading Conner was singing a song -- she said, "something like the 13 chronicles of . . .???" We had a nice little chuckle over this.
It's so refreshing to hear stories like this -- where children feel completely uninhibited in sharing, talking about, and mixing in with their daily life the things that they are taught. No matter the setting. No matter the audience. Makes you wonder at what point does that change for us. Or why does that change. At least for me . . . I don't find myself singing "I Am A Child of God" to Anna as we walk through the aisles at Safeway. But as a little kid I belted it out on countless occasions in restaurants while standing on my chair. I just hope that as my kids grow and choose to express their feeling & beliefs that I let them do just that (as long as it is polite or appropriate for the situation, of course). Don't get embarrassed. Don't make excuses to strangers. Let your light so shine, right?