Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pajama Day

Yesterday my 8-year-old went to school wearing pajama bottoms. He meant for me to double-check the note and back him up on it. But I didn't. I figured it's homecoming week, so it probably makes sense. Plus, this is John Michael we're talking about. He doesn't really get that kind of thing wrong.

But on the way to school, the fact that I couldn't absolutely confirm that it was pj day kind of started to get to him. He grabbed his flannel leg with his fingers and said, "Man, I hope I'm right about this." Welcome to Monday, Buddy. And apparently to upper elementary. And to life.


He was right about it of course. But you know I would have whipped that car around in a heartbeat if we hadn't seen at least two kids walking into the building with their own versions of flannel. He may be old enough for "Man, I hope I'm right," but he is definitely too young to have to be wrong all day long about something as flamboyant as pajama bottoms.

John's little moment with the pj's evoked such empathy in me. I could literally feel his pain. I think it's the feeling a lot of us will have in the voting booth this November. The way we feel when we make a job change or move.

I feel it with an intensity that can only be described as wonderful but excruciating pain as we make decisions about our children. School, church, sports, television, video games, bed times, dessert. Every little thing I decide for them. I don't know which is worse - the fact that the feeling never goes away, or the fact that the reason it doesn't is because every now and then we actually will be wrong. We'll be shouting at them through a bull horn some well-studied decision, and all the while we're standing there in our pajamas.

Poor kids. They have no idea how hard it is for us to figure this out. How hard it is to protect them and guide them and shower them with affection they know they can count on no matter what else happens - all while actually trying to get out of the way so that God - as I believe it, and even life itself, can do its work. And every time we step in, and every time we get out of the way, we'll be thinking one thing. Man, I hope I'm right about this.


Kathy said...

Here's a little comfort for you, Serenity. Your dad and I look back at lots of times when we thought we were wearing a three-piece suit and it turned out to be bunny-feet pajamas. And look how beautifully the four of you turned out:)
I totally understand the feeling, though. It is good to walk in awe and a little trepidation when one is shaping a life that will live for eternity.
p.s. You guys are doing it so well

Tracy said...

I told my daughters when they were in high school that as parents we don't always know what we're doing and we may not always make the right decisions, but that one thing they could ALWAYS count on is that we made the decisions we did because of our love for them.
I think in the end that's all they really needed to know!

Valerie said...

I love this post. I feel exactly the same way about many decisions I face as a mom. I think it's a good thing. I think we only second guess ourselves so often because we care so much.

Matt Bowman said...

I find myself in pajamas a lot (great use of imagery, btw). I get lots of practice at apologies! My kids will absolutely 100% of the time tell anybody that asks that daddy isn't perfect. I'm glad of this, actually. I want them to know that, though they aren't perfect either, they are loved. I want them to know that I don't know everything, and neither to they, that they can question and learn and grow. It's scary, but it's good.

Kathy said...

Hey Seren. I just bought Christmas p.j's for the boys tonight and they fit all my criteria. Christmas morning warm & fuzzies for you and me - but cool enough to wear to pajama day at school next year :)And that's all I'm telling you about them since I buy them as much for your Ahhhhh factor as for the boys actual sleeping comfort.

serenity said...

Yes!! I LOVE Christmas pajamas!