In the evening hour here my son will often pull me into his room with a sweet invitation after the lights turned off brings a quiet eyes closed heart open moment in time. Last night was another opportunity to receive his invitation. I have found that often his inquiry is one of veiled curiosity something he himself is struggling with.
It is at these times I often have to remind myself to listen to the spirit within me as to what wisdom to share, just what his heart is ready to know.
He loves to ask of stories of my childhood a hidden method of asking "what should I do or how could I handle it.
Last night my child asked me " Mom, tell me something brave...when you were courageous.?"
The image that flashed gave me pause to consider his developmental stage when it was plain that it was where "the goose" was flying...I began.
Son...when I was a teen perhaps 16-17 years of age during the years my parents had the gas station an event happened that really set me to have to use courage. You see I told him . My step dad well he was not my birth dad, he married my mom and adopted three of us. Well he had never had kids and he was an old tired man. He had a very bad temper. I think perhaps that is a part of where my ill behaved temper began.
Well during these times stress was high times were tight my parents struggled that my mom was in the hospital. She had had too much life struggle and was sick within her mind from the effects of life and her own childhood.
My step dad well he had left the station and it was time for me to relieve the teenage employee of her shift and work my own shift covering my moms as well that night. With my mom in the hospital (a nerves breakdown) I had to work more. Well the girl who was working had a boyfriend who sat in the office where my mother naively left cash to make change with. The girl and her boyfriend had been stealing from us and when I walked in there was the boyfriend in the office with the drawer open helping himself. The girl also was in issue because she was selling herself out the station window. this came to my attention for we both had similar coloring and a customer had slipped and it became known to me a 16 year old kid managing my parents gas station. I fired her on the spot.
Well her boyfriend stood at the looked door as the customers watched through the glass windows while she beat me up and took my lights out with a brick that was used to hold the door open. It struck me across the head. Next thing I knew I was waking up in the hospital room and my step dad was calling me a dumb shit "what the hell were you thinking" "do you want to kill your mother?"
Then he walked out.
The nurses had to keep it a secrete. This town was a geriatric town. A tourist trap in California.
My Mother was just doors down the hall in a fragile state and so no one could let her know I was there. My siblings all were moved away and I had no one. The customers had called the ambulance and cared for the business until help arrived. I do not know if the girl was even ever charged. It was when my memories of childhood stopped for several years. I may have injured my brain from that event.
My boy said. "mom...I am not very brave".
I asked him why he would say that. He saw me as brave in that.
I then explained that I should have never been in that position. It was stupid and foolish of me yet I did not know any better than to do it.
This child of mine then said to me..."mom it was not your fault it was your step dads for leaving you in that situation and not teaching you giving you lessons."
Then I seized the moment and explained that what might seem brave is not always the wisest thing to do. It is for us to teach you wisdom. It is why the counsel of those you respect is so important to seek.
Your father and I ..I told him take it very seriously to teach you your path and to help you to learn the difference. For often courage and bravery look very different than one might expect.