Yesterday morning around 6:15 P climbed in my bed for a snuggle. After a few quiet moments he said, "Mom, I figured out that I got the least of all the kids from Santa."
My foggy, early morning, pre-coffee brain was snapped to attention. Any parent of more than one child knows the stress of trying to insure things are perceived as equitable--and the challenge of that when individual children have different interests.
P in particular was difficult for Santa because he only really wanted one thing. A great deal of time and energy was devoted to finding a surprise gift that would insure an equitable distribution of gifts on Christmas morning...and yet, 6 weeks later, this is our predawn conversation.
My brain was reeling. My flesh wanted to be defensive. I was frustrated at what I perceived as a lack of gratitude. And yet, something about his tone (which really seems to be everything to me these days) did not indicate complaint as much as observation.
With one of those millisecond prayers of, "Lord, give me words" I responded.
"What? You each got three gifts from Santa."
"But R got Legos and a game..."
My brain was still too sleepy to start an inventory.
"Buddy, didn't you get what you really wanted?"
"Yes, I did," he cheerfully replied.
"Then why are we talking about this?"
"I think I am just bored."
From the mouths of babes, indeed.
I am just bored.
The words bounced around my heart and brain like a pinball.
The sting of comparison.
The hurt of being perceived as an inequitable parent--or a less gifted child.
A result of boredom.
In a moment of mind wandering, instead of reflecting on Christmas morning by counting his blessings, he chose instead to turn them into a scorecard. It became a game that he lost, rather than a day of unearned gifts.
And much like the 'gifts' we try to compare in life, this little recipient had no idea of the real costs, time spent and reasons behind the distribution. He simply had a snapshot in his mind of the end product and it didn't seem quite fair.
"Comparisons & gratitude occupy the same
space in our hearts. The more of one, the less room there is for the
other." Nicole Unice
I don't mean to make too much of it, but I dare not give it too little attention either. My 8 year old convicted me of a truth of our often pesky thought lives...boredom frequently gives birth to unhealthy thought patterns. Oh, how important to we submit our thoughts to God.
I don't know about you, but I can take all sorts of wrong turns in my brain that lead me to somewhat imaginary drama and hurt. It starts with perception, an assumption or even a fear that I start to believe as truth. Like a wildfire this can wreak unnecessary havoc on my emotions and my relationships.
This morning I pray that every thought will be held captive, evaluated in the light of Truth before being allowed to take root in my heart and mind. I believe these captive thoughts will lead to a freer heart.