My alarm went off at 5:15 this morning. In the dark, in the warmth of my bed, I prayed. I prayed for Adam for comfort during his surgery this morning. I prayed for wisdom for his surgeons. And I prayed for my kids. I prayed that they would be strong and confident today, that they would shine through the lingering cloud of the adversity they faced yesterday. I prayed to quiet my nerves as I anticipated an eventful and emotional morning.
It turns out, I needn't be worried. Today was a success on all fronts. Adam's surgery (admittedly the least of my worries today) was a success. And my boys exhibited the grace, righteousness and confidence of a person aged far beyond their young years.
During camp today, Eli, that spunky, little firecracker (wonder who he takes after...) went up to the older boy who gave him a hard time yesterday and had this conversation:
Eli: So, are you going to make fun of me today?
Eli: Thanks.I really appreciate that.
Boy: Uh...how do you know the word "appreciate"?
Eli: Um, I just know it.
For his part, Ethan (and his sweet friend) teamed up together in defense of Eli when another boy starting poking fun. They presented a united front and firmly shut it down.
As much as I preach to the kids about the importance of standing up for themselves and for others, the way the kids embraced and carried out this lesson today FAR surpassed my expectations.
I was also pleased to see that the dialogue I've opened on this blog and the dialogue I've been fortunate enough to have with my friends proved its worth today. Ethan's friend told the little boy that their "moms have been texting and talking about this" and so it was NOT okay to make fun of Eli. See? Our kids really do listen when we talk to them about and entrust them with big issues! The more we talk about accepting our differences, the more we can unite and stand against that which is unkind and unjust. As parents we have SUCH power.
Through Eli's bravery of being who he is, I sometimes have to experience the bad in people, but I will tell you, that thus far throughout this journey, the bad has been nearly entirely overshadowed by the good that has been demonstrated. There has been an abundance of humbling and real and honest goodness.
I was awed today. Awed by the swift and unwavering support of the school. Awed by my kids. Awed by my dear friend's kids. Awed by Ethan, who, although has taken on his role as Eli's protector somehwat reluctantly, rose to the occasion. I was awed by the difference a conversation can make. Awed by the hope that was instilled in me for a happy, truthful life for my kids. Yes, I think those kids of mine are going to be just fine.