It's 4am on the day after Easter. Resurrection Day is over for this year, and it was not an easy day. But just an hour ago, #2 was awake. He came to find me (I was in bed, of course) because he was just awake. I know a bit about insomnia - something was bothering him,
It seems like the entire day was spent in a battle to teach #2 to stay in his chair at mealtime, because that was how the day ended. We've been working on that for a while and it seems to be getting worse instead of better, and it is making mealtime miserable for everybody. This evening, after he'd already been at the table forever, and we were all done, but he'd only had about three bites and a lot of jumping around and running around and not sitting and eating, he'd asked for a cookie - a homemade sugar cookie with icing that we made at Gram's house yesterday morning. I told him that if he could finish the (quite reasonable) amount of food on his plate before the timer beeped (in 15 minutes), he could have the cookie. He started eating, but he continued to jump around and get up and be difficult. Every five minutes we reminded him that the time would beep and he would lose the cookie if he wasn't done eating. But the behavior continued while the food was disappearing, and while much of the food disappeared, there was still food left when the timer beeped, and he lost the cookie.
He was so sad that he nearly choked on a piece of apple.
I have to say, that sometimes getting the desired reaction out of this child is nearly impossible - we're been thinking and trying and teaching and training - but when it comes right down to it - this is a heart problem - a refusal to submit to authority - a rebellious attitude - and we can't change that. We've been praying for God to change #2's precious heart because we've allowed this attitude to grow for far too long.
The cookie, which he'd wanted so badly, was put away - he can try again tomorrow - and he cried and cried. He was truly sad - not just angry - but sad. Daddy went to talk with him and help him calm down, and I sat at the table exhausted and prayed.
And we put the boys to bed, and had an evening of projects and such, and then we went to bed - and that pretty much brings us to 3am, when #2 came to find me, and I was deep asleep - actually dreaming about #1 being resurrected in a healthy body (a dream that occurs occasionally). I heard #2, but I couldn't wake up fully, so he went to the potty and came in the living room to see if Magic School Bus was on yet (Nope. It comes on at 6:30.) I got myself awake about 15 minutes later and came to see what was going on...
He was just awake, and he was thinking about how he lost his cookie, and he was sad. He sat down on my lap in our big comfy chair, and we were able to have a conversation about Self-Control and learning to do what is right over what we want and to discuss better ways to enjoy a meal and a few other things. And we read a few stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible that was an Easter gift and was within reach, and we snuggled and talked - and he fell back to sleep, and I carried him back to bed (no easy feat - he weighs nearly 60 pounds). This year is the very first year that he's really HEARD the story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising again so that we can be forgiven. And I continue to pray, "Father, change his heart." Because even at four years old, when he intentionally makes what he knows are poor choices, he is sinning, and I know that any sin feels miserable on you - sticky and dirty and gross. I don't wish that feeling on anyone.
Now that I have tucked him back into bed and thought and prayed and typed and prayed and thought - it's 5am, and I'm going to go take a nap. May the Holy Spirit work in #2 and I both as we sleep to change our hearts and make us more submissive to Him. After all, He can see the big picture - the final product of #2's life - and lead us to the best possible outcome. And if He (and the resurrected #1) should make their appearance before then, then we will be prepared, as we should be.