The mornings are dark now. Waking up, walking the dog, and eating breakfast are done before the sun peeks out. Winter is coming, and the chilly air is starting to bite at tiny fingers and ears. As such, this morning we advised our girls to wear warmer jackets and gloves to school today.
Our seven year old refused. With a long sleeved t-shirt and a thin spring jacket and bare hands she was “ready” to run out to catch the bus. We tried to reason with her. After all, she had walked the dog with Daddy an hour earlier and knew how cold it was outside. She had seen Dad bundle up in his toque and gloves. But, no, her mind was made up. She was sure she’d be made fun of for sporting a winter jacket just yet.
We opted to “let her learn her lesson” through some bone chilling outdoor recesses. Oh, yes, I warned her that her ear ache would never get better if she didn’t start dressing for the weather and that her health and comfort were way more important than anybody teasing her about something as silly as the weight of her jacket. But in the end I sent her out the door with her hands pulled up inside the sleeves of her spring jacket. I must admit that my heart was heavy. Not because of a silly jacket or pair of gloves, but because I sensed her anxiety about being teased and wanting to fit in. I found myself thinking and fearing that this was just the beginning.
My conscientious, rule-following, firstborn, whom I always thought was confident enough to stand against the tide, was scared of being teased. Today, it’s a winter jacket…tomorrow, what will it be? I am all too aware that there are much more dangerous risks taken to fit in. My heart longs for her to practice courage in these seemingly inconsequential matters so that she can remain strong when tested in bigger ways.
Lord, I pray that peer pressure won’t press her to impress anybody above You! Give her wisdom well beyond her years and the discernment to see through the lies of temptation. Let her live her life in light of eternity! Oh, bless her with a faith that trusts in Your promises and seeks Your pleasure in all things!
Funny thing is, earlier this week I was just thinking about how I had let my daily prayer time for my family slide a bit. Perhaps this seemingly silly incident this morning was what I needed to refocus my dependence on the Lord in this parenting journey! As much as all the future “what ifs” bothered me after my daughter left this morning on the bus, I was driven to my knees for her. For that, I thank God!
Oh, and just to put your minds at ease, she did tell me after school while we were cuddling on the couch, that she had decided she would wear her winter jacket tomorrow!