I received a phone call yesterday from my 7 yr old's teacher informing me that my daughter was being sent to the "TAB" room. I'm not sure what "TAB" stands for - when my two teenagers attended the same elementary school, it was called "PAR" - which was something about Positive Attitude Reinforcement or some such thing. Whatever it is called, the room in question is the place they send the kids who grossly misbehave in class - my daughter had hit another child and was sent to "make a Plan" at the TAB room. Ah, the joys of being a parent.
It is amazing how four kids can be so different. My oldest daughter, "SwimGirl", is 16: artistic, quiet, reserved (except at the pool - then her happy crazy side shows up and she is a joy to watch dancing on the deck as she awaits her next race), responsible and sweet. She's had her moments - they all do - but for the most part, she is by far my easiest child. She is content to read or draw, amusement on her face as she watches the antics of her siblings. My 15 year old son aka "T-Bone", is also reserved, except on the ice or lacrosse field. Then his ultra-competitive nature comes out as he deeks his opponents who assume from his size, that he will back down from attacks. I've watched him check kids twice his size, skate away with the puck as they sit with their butts on the ice, shaking their heads and wondering what the heck just happened. He is smart and charismatic - a natural leader in any situation. Always high energy and somewhat sassy, he is destined to change the world and will.
My seven year old daughter has always seemed to be a perfect melting pot of my husband and I. Extremely energetic, she has trouble sitting still for even short periods of time. She hums and sings almost constantly - whatever "ear worm" is cycling through her head comes out of her mouth. This was an issue with her teacher last year, who believed that all children learn the same way and my daughter's constant singing caused her teacher a constant headache. After a year with "Sparkles", the teacher retired. Coincidence? I don't know. Sparkles is my little handful and trying to find ways to train her to follow directions while encouraging her awesome spirit is a constant battle. I love the spirit she has - her feistiness comes from both my husband and I - but it gets her into trouble, as it did yesterday.
My baby, "Princess Buttercup", is five years old. Out of all my children, she most resembles me physically. She will be the child who will give me a passel of grandkids. She is sweet and smart. She tries to sing, but is eclipsed by Sparkles' talent since Buttercup can't carry a tune to save her life. She loves to snuggle, but also has a dose of high energy that I need to find a place to focus it.
Back to Sparkles and yesterday's incident: The "plan" they worked out with her at the TAB room was one of trying to get her to think before she acts, something we've been trying to do since she was tiny. Unfortunately, she seems to have been born that kid who will put their hand on a burner after being told not to do so many times. Then, after being burned, she'll have to do it several more times just to see if the same results occur.
With all that is going on in the world, it is so scary as a parent to trust that things will work out for good. I look at SwimGirl, hovering on the brink of adulthood and I worry about her future. She's worked so hard at school and swimming - she's on the edge of launching out of the safety of our nest and the world is going crazy. The little ones in our home would adjust well to a different sort of life: Buttercup has always wanted to live on a farm with lots of animals and Sparkles would finally have a place to expend all her crazy energy. But my older two? How does one say "I'm sorry - all those years in school, on the ice, in the pool is for naught. The world is crazy and we must flee now" when you know it will break their hearts? The people in OWS and this administration claim that they are working for the future of our country - how can this be so when all they seem to be perpetuating is mediocrity and violence? Where is my children's futures in their plan?
This is the time when trusting God and HIS PLAN is so important, but how hard is it to hand over all that and trust? Some days it is easier than others. It brings to mind the verse: "But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'" (Luke 18:16, NIV) Letting our children go into his hands is what he requires of us, so it is what we must do, but it can be so hard.