I am sure he’ll be really thankful one day that I posted this picture:) I laid down with Z at naptime to read him a couple stories and rest with him for a “few” minutes (which really means that I fall asleep with him!). I said, “I love you, Zakkai.” He doesn’t say it back very often but today he peeked an eye over the top of his rays and said, “I love you!”
We decided to have a dinner picnic at a new park tonight. It did not turn out to be the greatest decision. There were a lot of really young kids at this playground (right next to a school) that had little or no supervision. One lady was seriously on her cell phone the entire time we were there, barely paying attention when her toddler would wander away.
But the thing that really upset us was how this older brother who was maybe 8 or 9 was treating his younger brother, probably 2 or 3. He yanked him off of a bicycle and started slapping him when he cried and was pushing and shoving him, trying to make him walk. Ben immediately got up and started asking some of the adults if those were their kids but no one knew who they were. Ben started walking after them to do what, I don’t know but neither one of us could stand to see this little boy being treated so roughly. The older brother twisted his arms behind him and was forcing him to walk while jerking him around.
Finally we saw them head to a parked van with all the doors open. There were a few more kids inside the car but no adults around. We kept glancing over periodically, hoping to see someone watching these young children but not for at least 30 minutes did an adult appear. And then the last time I glanced over, I saw the mom loading up the kids, not putting any of them in carseats (all of them were at least 2-8 years old) and driving away with the 2 year old in the front seat. I was so upset to see such neglect and mistreatment. That brother was probably just emulating what he has seen the parent (s?) do to him and his siblings.
I was so sad for awhile afterwards but it made me really thankful that Ben and I care about our boys so much. We are most definitely not perfect parents, often making mistakes but I really hope that we learn from them. And I pray that God grants us more wisdom and patience every day as we journey to raise these children. And I certainly hope that we don’t look at other families like the one we saw this evening and start thinking we are better than them.
Because but for the grace of God, we are not!