Monday, April 4, 2011

Parable of the lunch box

It's hard being a parent. Recently, Gavin has had a hard time keeping his lunch box under control. He has a tendency to toss, kick, swing, and not always catch it. As a result, he has opened his lunch box at lunch time only to find his yogurt or applesauce has exploded inside and smeared everything. He says he just licks it off, but the clean up for me is totally un-fun! I don't enjoy it. At all. So, on separate occasions, Dallin and I have sat down with him and talked about what was going to happen if he wasn't more responsible with his lunch box (I would stop making his lunches and he would have to eat school lunch). Yes, it is a pretty horrific consequence! It was much to my chagrin when I picked him up from school the other day that he says, "Mom, catch!" To which I immediately replied, "Gavin, please don't throw your lunch box." I know he heard me (there was eye contact). He threw it anyway. And I didn't catch it. I wasn't even standing close enough to catch it. Sigh. I told him he was going to have to eat school lunch now. He shrugged and I ASSUMED he didn't care. However, my assumption was way off. I think he thought I wasn't serious. This morning when it was time to go, he told me I forgot to make his lunch. I told him he was going to be eating school lunch and that he had lost the privilege of eating things from home. I have to say that I didn't see the melt down coming. It was bad (did I mention this was as we were walking out the door for school?). He was sobbing. Crying so hard he could barely breathe. He begged and pleaded to please give him another chance. Seriously? His friends eat school lunch every day and they survive! I calmly told him no, but he could earn it back by good behavior. The whole time I wanted to put my arms around him and CAVE! I couldn't bear the horror on his face and the tears! So, after I dropped him off (and paid for lunches for the next week), I cried. I think I understand a little better how our Father feels when he watches us take a consequence for something we've done wrong. And as much as we cry and plead and he wants to comfort us, He doesn't. Not because He can't, but because He knows we have to learn. I cannot even imagine how much it must have hurt Him to turn away when Christ called out to Him on the cross. My little taste of the tossed lunch box has given me a greater appreciation for the capacity of love our Father has for each of us (and we're millions. Can you imagine?). Let it be known that I am the meanest mommy ever for making my child eat school lunch, but I love him enough to let him learn.


Ian and Lara said...

Great story! One that he will definately get a laugh at later on! Tell him I make Malia eat school lunch every day, (but only because it's free at her school), and I got lazy about making one.

Abbie said...

Totally puts things into perspective. Way to be a "mean mommy" You could tell him a "back when I was a kid" story. Remember when they served us cooked spinach? I don't know about you, but that was about the grossest thing ever.

Clark Family said...

AWE!! It's so hard to follow through with consequences when they cry REAL tears!! Good job hangin' in there! I LOVED how you tied it into the gospel and reminded us that we all do need the chance to learn... that's just what I needed to hear today - thanks!