My 6 year-old son is having a rough time. Normal growing pains, I suppose---a free spirit struggling with conflicting emotions. I love his feisty character and take him for what he is. And this kid is gifted; he is sensitive, analytical and expressive.
Most of the time, his passionate displays of wrath subside into equal depths of intuition, as he slowly emerges from his rage.
Tonight’s conversation was of utmost importance; it marked a turning point in his ongoing maturity. And as his mom, I too, learned a great deal about how to relate to a child of mine, in his own peculiar language, in his hour of need.
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A feeling of calm overcame me. I was out of options. On and off, after hours of taking away privileges, time-outs, screaming---I couldn’t go on. Drained, I realized I wasn’t breaking through. He was inhabited by a force that reflected in his eyes both fear and rage.
I put him in his bed early. Isolation.
He physically wrestled with his fury while simultaneously calling out for me in a haunting whine.
“Calm yourself down and when you are quiet, I will return. Fight this evil force that has a hold of you by asking God for help. Ask him to fill your heart with good feelings and push the bad ones out.”
“Ask Him in your mind and let Him answer you in your head quietly.”
“Will you try it?”
“Ok,” he nodded in resignation, his bloodshot eyes swollen and weary with tears.
I waited 20 minutes.
I entered the room expecting to find him passed out exhausted from his tantrum. Instead, he was lying still, eyes wide open, staring intently out into the unknown. His face, serene---he had been enlightened. When I approached him, he was another child and completely receptive.
This child needed help sharing his burdens. He strove to triumph over his naughty inclination but found it beyond his reach. The idea of a higher being, someone he could rely upon to guide him, assist him and answer his pleas more and more, with each cry for help, comforted him. He consciously chose, after much curious probing and conversation, to invite faith into his heart, rather than go it alone.
“The world is a scary place, but by deciding to connect to something more powerful than yourself,” I assured him, “it’s a lot easier.”
I swear this kid got it. It made total sense to him. We were completely aligned.
“Mommy, what does the good vibration look like?”
“Picture a magnificent, gigantic diamond as big as a building; it radiates every color in the rainbow as far as the eyes can see. That is how your energy is perceived by others when God is with you.”
“But Mommy, how do you know? I can’t see it.”
“I dreamt it and I feel like that when God makes me stronger and helps me with my problems. And dogs can feel it.”
We had spent the day with friends with a new dog. He bonded with the animal.
“Remember the dog was licking you all over and jumping on your lap?”
“Well, he sensed your good presence, your godly spirit. Dogs won’t go to people they just meet that are mean-spirited. They know.”
Finally, he was at peace.
"Good night, Mommy. I love you."
And he turned towards the wall and drifted off to sleep.
This day was epic.
I had just instilled faith in my son by touching his soul.