There was nothing I could do. Tuesday morning is homeschool co-op. We have to be there at 9:00 a.m. I have four older children receiving serious instruction, and they are not happy if we are late. Their teachers are not fond of it either. So, we got Emily rolling along--breakfast in the car, toys in the bag, and an extra sweater because, "it's so cold, Mommy". I was already having hot flashes for the day, so I couldn't relate. But I bundled her up anyway.
So, we roll in three minutes late. Teenagers bolt out of the car in a dead sprint clutching backpacks, drawing boards, water bottles... and Emily and I let the dust settle, "Should we get to your first class, honey?" Call me lax, but I have no problem letting her take her time getting to her first class. It's a fabulous class, but it is designed for 2nd through 6th graders. Emily hasn't even started kindergarten, so I sit with her, helping her and explaining things as we go.
The class is a Bible class that was designed by the lady teaching it and her husband, a local pastor. It is fabulous instruction, great content, and well paced. It's just a little too advanced for her age. I plan to have her take it next year and maybe the year after, just for a good solid foundation of the concepts--not to mention a great review for me!
So, as we go along, I help her with the answers to the questions. I want to help her feel involved as well as motivated. For this class, the teacher brought treats (a bag of skittles) for each child who answered two right questions. All was great, except for the teacher's daughter, Stephanie. Poor Steph. She's too old to have her mother's help and too young to "get" everything. She ended up with no skittles and was a crying mess, bawling in her mother's arms as everyone was leaving.
Emily and I sat there, watching her cry. I knew what a hard morning Emily had already had, and I was tempted to just let the mother and child work this out, but instead I said, "what do you think Jesus would want us to do with our skittles?" Emily said, "Eat them later, after lunch"
"So, did you know that mommy helped you answer all of those questions, and that is why you have the skittles.. what about sharing with Stephanie?"
"I'd like to eat them later.."
"Why not share them with Stephanie, now?"
(bury head in sweater.. and then looks away.. and then throws them at me)
It's the best she could do. So, we went over to Stephanie and her Mommy and opened the bag. We divided them in half with one left over. We gave the teacher the extra one. Suddenly, the room got brighter. The candy tasted better, and life was in perspective.
I witnessed a grumpy, selfish little girl turn sweet with a little skittle sacrifice. What a happy day she had after that! Even at 6:00 p.m. when we were still there, she was happy and content.
Even though she is too young to know the Lord Jesus personally, she is starting to understand some things. That is an encouragement to me!