This past weekend my son had his birthday and he made a request of me that I could not turn down. He asked that for his birthday weekend I not do any writing, working, or phone calls so that we could just relax and spend time together all weekend. His simple request was easy to honor but left me pondering a deeper question… what does it say about me that he had to ask this of me? Truthfully, I felt my nagging neighbor Guilt Trip trying to invite himself into my mental playground for a very unwelcome visit.
I struggled with it so much that I finally asked him about it. As I sat down with him, I prepared myself for him telling me that I work too much, am on the phone too often, and that he feels overlooked and ignored. I was prepared for these comments because I had convinced myself that this must be the way he was feeling for him to ask me to stop and focus on him. I felt a little like a hypocrite… I teach other women how to balance it all as a work at home mom and I was about to hear my son blow my cover and tell me I had my life so out of balance.
So hear is how the conversation played out:
Me: “Can I ask you a question?”
Me: “Why was it so important to you that I not do anything this weekend?”
He sat quietly for a moment collecting his thoughts… (he gets that from his mom).
(Me… nervously waiting for a response)
Him: “I wanted you to rest. You always work so hard taking care of everyone else including me that I wanted you to just stop and enjoy a weekend without worries.”
Me: (Blown away and near tears) “Do you ever feel like I work too much or don’t spend enough time with you?”
Him: Never. You are always there for me and I am proud of you. Plus if I ever feel that way I will tell you. I am just looking out for you!
Wow. Wow. Wow.
In case you can’t tell, I have an eight year old that is wise beyond his years! I learned two very powerful lessons this weekend when I stepped away to honor the birthday request of my sweet son:
1. Never assume. When you begin to try to figure out what another person (no matter how old) is thinking you will create more trouble for yourself than just asking them in the first place. Plus, if you have a clear understanding of their thinking and motives early— you can relax sooner. I wish I would have asked Bryson his thoughts on Wednesday when we asked me this… not on Sunday night when the weekend was over and I had spent much of it mentally beating myself up.
2. We all need people (no matter how old) looking out for us to make sure that every once in a while we take a step back to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
I am rested and ready to tackle an amazing week, month, fall season of ministry and I owe it to a sweet little boy that was looking out for Mom this weekend, not because he was mad but because he loved me.