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Handle with Care!

A friend shared this story with me: Terry was visiting her friend who has six children. We both marveled at a mom who could raise six children and maintain a sense of humor. Terry was chatting with her friend in the kitchen. They went together to check on the children in another room. The thirteen year-old-son was charged with watching his baby sister. When the moms walked into the room they saw the bare-bottomed baby propped in an upholstered chair watching the big kids play. The baby had wet the chair. Terry was horrified at the sight of the urine-soaked chair.  The mom on the other hand laughed. Then with a chuckle she corrected the teenager, saying, “Oh, honey you need to keep a diaper on the baby.” No drama no trauma. The son laughed too and then took the baby to diaper her.

Here is my story: My adopted son who was about 9 years old, had a habit of stealthily approaching us when we were absorbed in some activity. If I happened to catch sight of him and acknowledged his presence, I aroused his anger. If on the other hand, I didn’t notice he was hiding nearby, he became angry because  I wasn’t making an effort to find him. Either way I felt caught in a no-win situation.

A few weeks later. . .

I invited my son to accompany me into the garden one early summer evening to pick snap peas by flashlight. At first, I thought he would join me, but he refused. I ambled out to pick peas by myself. I got busy working my way down the row. Balancing my bucket and flashlight and pinching peas off the vine I heard a muffled sound and looked up. I called to my son, thinking he might have changed his mind. No answer. I resumed my task and when I finished I headed for the gate. Again I heard rustling nearby. I thought I saw a flash of light and called to my son again. Still no response. By now I was pretty sure he was in the garden not wanting to be seen and yet wanting me to discover him. I was getting annoyed. I barked at him, “Don’t be tromping around in the garden in the dark. You are trampling the fragile baby plants!”  With that he exploded and stomped out of the garden.

The next day he informed me that he didn’t step on any baby plants because even in the dark he could see the pattern in the straw mulch and he walked between the plants. It suddenly struck me that HE is my fragile baby plant and I need to take care not to step on him.

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