No parent likes to get a call from school. It pretty much defines Epic Fail as a mom. My thirteen-year-old son is having trouble figuring out how to talk to girls he likes. This challenge is on top of the high-energy and learning-difficulty challenges he faces every day.
One morning I was driving to my still-brand-new job, when I got a call.
“Mrs. Moore, your son threw an Award Medal at a girl,” said his teacher.
“Can you put him on the phone,” I replied as calmly as possible.
“Really?” I asked my son. “Really?” Then I chewed him out with the Mother of all Lectures and grounded him for a month. We had LITERALLY just had a conference at the school with his teacher the day before on how we don’t pull the hair of girls we like, nor throw things at them, nor talk to them at all. No lie. The day before.
My son is a good kid and very sweet. Just not socially adept. In his mind, he was trying to SHOW her the medal he’d won at cross country, not commit a felony. Luckily it hit her on her jacket.
This was a Wednesday which kicked off one week of roller-coaster ups and downs in the life of a mom. The next Sunday, I happened to gather with a small group at church to say a Rosary. It’s the Catholic equivalent of a prayer group. And, I don’t need to tell you I was praying “like a mother” for my son.
Prayer can be powerful. For those who don’t believe, maybe it is the aligning of positive thought-waves like “the force” in Star Wars. For believers, it’s Devine Intercession.
The following Wednesday, my fully locked-down-grounded son had signed up for a Dodge Ball Tournament for charity after school. Since he’d organized a team, including his science teacher, I said he could go. He asked me to attend. Amazing. He isn’t embarrassed of me yet. So though it was after school hours, I left work early and attended.
As parents, we desperately want our kids to be socially successful. We bite our nails and live on the edge of our seats holding our breath hoping that they will have good friends and be happy.
I entered the Middle School Gym and the tournament was on. It was like walking into a tidal wave of sound—all my parental worries hit me full in the throat. Would my son be OK? Will he fit in, grow up, find a job, be happy? I sat with some other moms in the bleachers.
When my son’s team was called, he and his team took the floor.
On the first throw the science teacher was out. Not a great “representing” for the adult world, but the kids loved it. Next kids on both sides got out. My son hovered to the back wall and stood his ground. A couple more tosses and low and behold, my son was the last man standing on his team against 2 strong and athletic-looking kids. I wasn’t expecting this as my son isn’t athletic. Everyone was watching. The first kid threw a ball at my son and missed. My son hurled one back and got that kid out. The entire gym was cheering. For my son.
Now it was mano-e-mano. My slim son versus what appeared to be the Star of the 7th Grade Basketball Team. The crowd was going crazy. The Basketball Star aimed and threw.
I held my breath.
Amazingly, my son caught it. He won the game for his team. I was standing and clapping for all I was worth. All the kids rushed out onto the floor to cheer my son. It was one of the happiest moments of my life to see him so happy. And yet, my son took it in stride and accepted all the high fives in style. I was blessed to have been there.
It was a crazy roller coaster week. Someone else may not connect the positive event to prayer. But I do. And yes, I know that every time I pray, I will not get what I want. But sometimes, when the chips are down you get what you need to keep going. And I needed one moment to let me know that my sweet son would be OK in this world.
For Mother’s Day, I wish for all the moms in my life to know when you are in a valley, there will be peaks again. You just have to do your best and then hope.