Before he finished his sentence the metallic crayon buckled under the pressure of my chubby four-year-old grip. The next sound I heard was the hollow thud of a strong hand connecting with the small of my back. Air escaped my lungs and failed to be replaced for what seemed like minutes, but was seconds in reality.
Funny thing, I remember so much about that day, but not a smudge of the physical pain. I’m sure it hurt. There was a large raspberry red palm imprinted on my back for at least an hour. But that’s not what I remember. I remember the smell and color of the crayons, and the genuine laughter and enjoyment of playing with my friend. I also remember the breathlessness I felt after the strike, and the horror of being struck. Shame presented itself as well. Breaking the crayons was not an act of willful disobedience, rather a childish blunder, yet still, I felt like a bad, bad girl.
Tears streamed my face as Mrs. P gently gathered my belongings, brushed strands of my butter blond hair away from my eyes, and instructed Adam to walk me home. An event created in five minutes will never be forgotten.
My sweet Pumpkindoodle is not much younger than I was when what I now refer to as the awful crayon incident took place. She’s a social gal like her mama and her little friends visit often. All of her friends are loved and welcomed in our home, but being the honest blogger that I am I must write that some children require a wee bit more patience than others. I can say that without guilt because I’m sure that there are several parents who share that sentiment when it comes to my girl.
It’s my heartfelt prayer that our home be one of hospitality not only to our adult friends, but to the friends of our children, even...especially, the ones who sometimes try my resolve. I pray that the words I speak to those precious ones be edifying; words that drip with kindness, love, and cheer. I pray that I will take the time necessary to get to know these little beings and be another encourager in their courts, because this world and its inhabitants sling some harsh blows. I pray that our home will be a safe haven amidst this blistering society, and that my children will know how to love because they see love in action every day.