Hey, remember me? I'm still here, but haven't blogged in over 2 months. I guess getting a job makes it difficult to sit down and put my thoughts down. But, something happened last night that kept me up most of the night asking God how to deal with it. I'm up this morning and hoping that I handle it in the proper way. Let me elaborate a bit:
Last week was "Field Day" at my kids school. That is the day when all of the children participate in several different events such as Jump rope, Sneaker Find, Tug of War and "the 60 and 100 yard dashes". I put those in parentheses becuase that is where my story will concentrate. First of all, I have 2 kids participating in this glorious day of events. Scout is my 1st grader, who goes out and just has fun. She could care less if she gets first or last. She just like to have fun. Strange enough, she recieved all 1st place ribbons. She was very proud of them, but really will forget about them in a couple of days, becuase that's the type of kid she is. She just loves life and enjoys living it whether its by being the best or not.
Nik, my 5th grader, is a bit different at this time in his life. He is VERY competetive and wants to win. He gets so "keyed" up before any competition, that he almost gets sick. Field Day was no exception. Although he didn't get sick, he did have a horribly hard time going to sleep the night before. I'm not sure if I was that competitive when I was that age or not. I'm sure that I was, but don't want to admit it.
Friday morning, the kids of OC Taylor Elementary converged on the fields to start the competition. If you have never had the privilege to attend one of these competitions, I highly advise that you do all you can to make it to one some day. Anyway, without going through all of the events, I will concentrate on the one that prompts this blog - the Dash! The 60 yard dash to be more specific.
Nik ran the 60 yard dash against his school mates and received the Blue ribbon. He was so proud and yet he seemed to be humble. The race was a photo finish. There were 3 boys who crossed almost at the same time. Nonetheless, Nik got the ribbon.
I do my best to teach him to be humble when he wins and a good sport when he loses. I'm not sure that it always comes across that way when he is in those positions, but we do work on it. Moving on - one of Nik' friends dads happened to have videotaped the race. I didn't know until the following day that he even put in on youtube for the kids to see. Nik pulled it up and watched it several times, and, to his defense, without slowing it way down, you just can't see a clear cut winner. But, being a terrible dad, I did slow it down. I wished I wouldn't have now, but I did. The video showed that Nik was edged out by another boy. Here is where it starts to get a bit sticky. Nik was sitting beside me when I saw this. We looked at it several times and he insisted that he still one. But, unfortunately, it just wasn't so. I could see the complete fear in his eyes as he saw this, but he would not admit it.
Anyway, the evening went on and this really ate at me. Not the fact that he lost, but the fact that he saw the tape and still instisted that he won. After the kids got to bed that night, I stayed awake for several hours. I rolled around in bed asking God for a way to approach this delicate situation. All I knew for sure is that, as a dad who wants his kids to learn integrity, that this was a time to try and instill some of it.
See, I heard a long time ago, someone say, "You Ooze what you are." This means that, what is inside of you comes out of you. No matter how hard you try to cover it up or how hard you try to hide it, that who you truly are will come out eventually. This has been one of the most life changing phrases that I've ever heard. This has helped me change the way I do life in so many ways. I'm not saying that I am a man with character that is above reproach and full of integrity, but I am aware of what is inside me and work like heck to make it as good as I can.
This morning, I got up and discussed this with my son. I told him that I can't tell him how to feel or what to do about this. I simply asked him to pray about this and ask God to guide him through this and reveal to him how to handle it. I have to remember that he's 11 years old and this may never get any further than our conversation on the couch. Nik is a wonderful boy with a tremendously soft heart. I can only pray that he takes this to God and asks for his guidance and conviction.
I love my kids so much that I can't stand it sometimes. But, sometimes I have to ask for God to help me with their discipline and change their heart when I can't.