As I walked in from taking out the trash tonight, I heard a little cry from the top of the stairs. Though I couldn’t make out the words, I knew Ethan was upset. Climbing up the stairs, I gave myself the usual single-mommy pep talk/ prayer – Listen to his pain, feel his hurt, give it to God. This has become my own motto, and greatest relief since my own mother’s passing nearly 9 months ago.
As I reached the top, I noticed that not only was Ethan’s’ whining turning into a sob, but that there were the largest most gut-wrenching crocodile tears erupting from his baby blue eyes. His cheeks were apple red, and his forehead was all squinted as if he had been looking at the sun for too long. ‘What is it baby?’ I asked calmly. ‘I just can’t stop seeing dad’s face when he was walking back to the house. He was so sad. I miss my dad.’.
After a moment of much prayer and pause, I took his chin into my hands, looked him straight in the eye, and said ‘You are sad for daddy, and I understand that because you love daddy, and daddy loves you. You are about to get to spend more time with him this week. You enjoy each other & make each other happy. If daddy is sad tonight, let’s give it to God. God doesn’t want you to hurt because he loves you, just like mommy & daddy do. You don’t like it when mommy cries, do you? No. So, let’s just…give it to God’.
With that, Ethan reflected & took a moment for his own pause. Then, looking at me again, the forehead started to wrinkle once more. And once more, I said ‘Ethan, God wants for you to give him your problems so that he can fix them like a broken toy. If your heart’s broken, he can fix that too. God can do anything, right? Yes. So let’s give it to God so that we can be happy. That’s what God wants.’.
And somehow, that was as good as ‘hocus pocus’.
A huge smile stretched across his face like he had never had a care in the world, and he giggled himself off to sleep.