A little while back Daniel re-told a story to me that his Old Testament teacher had told their class. His son had been invited to two different birthday parties on the same day. One was at a Chuckie Cheese/Nickelcade/every little boy's dream type of party place for a really popular little boy and the other was for a boy in the class who didn't really have any friends and the party was going to be much less glamorous than the first. Daniel's teacher, Brother Seely, and his wife told their son that he could decide which party he would attend and he eventually decided to go to the birthday party of the unpopular boy. Brother Seely went on to say that his son came home after the party and said he was so glad with his choice because he was the ONLY CHILD WHO SHOWED UP. His parents asked their son how he made the choice to go to that party and he told them that he had prayed about it and felt he needed to support this other little boy.
When the Hubs told me this story, the future mother in me felt a plethora of emotions, and I'll admit I just wanted to cry for a while afterwards. First of all, how heartbroken were those poor parents when only one child showed up for their little boy's party? Did they want nothing more than to assure him of his worth regardless of the attendance of this party? Did his mom go into the other room and cry because her heart was breaking for her child? I know I would have. At the same time, I think about how overjoyed and proud Brother Seely and his wife had to have been of their sweet boy for entrusting the help of his Heavenly Father at such a young age and making the harder choice to support his friend. What a great parenting moment that must have been. The hubs and I talked about this for a while and specifically about how if/when our kids get put in that position, we hope that we will have raised them in an environment where they do know how to make good decisions. We talked about this assuming our child would be the one faced with two parties to go to, when all of a sudden we both had the realization that our child COULD BE THE ONE WITH NO ONE AT THEIR PARTY! That was a bit of a sobering moment. At risk of sounding like the most naive pre-mother in the whole world, I must say that I had a very small glimpse of how hard being a mom is going to be. What happens when your kids aren't babies anymore and you can't fix everything? How do you handle things when a hungry stomach or a scraped knee aren't the climax of your child's trials? Fortunately, we've got at least a few years before the Hubs and I really run into this (...right?). I'm crossing my fingers that some serious learning and inspiration will happen along the way. I'm sure I'll be begging people to pray for us that we don't mess up our poor children. Parenthood, here we come!