Monday, December 15, 2008
I drove work today in the pouring rain. Nice. When it rains like that in California, you have to give it a nod, some recognition. I fondly remember my third grade teacher, Mrs. Smith, having a rainy day tradition: when the lights went out, she made hot chocolate, lit candles, and read Winnie the Pooh. So I got out the hot chocolate for my kiddos this morning, ready to pass on the tradition. God does have a sense of humor, because in the middle of that tradition, he brought a reminder. I handed out the hot chocolate to most of the kids, and came to one of the last boys, J. As I walked away from his desk, E was very disturbed. "Why did J get a bigger cup than everyone else???" he whined. Boy, I had to hold back. I let him have a little, but with every word I spoke it was like I was getting the message myself. "I chose to give you a gift this morning.... why are you complaining about what I am giving to the other kids? It is a gift, right? Something special? Who gets to say HOW I give it to everyone?" "You do, Miss Owens." Right, so if I want to give him more, does anyone get to say anything?" "No, it's your choice." Right. I get to say who I give it to and how. I don't need you whining to me about what they have and what you don't have. Next time I have something to give, I will consider again who I give it to, and next time, that might not include you. I won't be giving if you will be complaining. Oh, and for the record, he got the bigger cup because I ran out of smaller ones. You didn't know WHAT I gave him. And anyway, everyone else seemed grateful for what they got, and offered genuine thank you's to show it. You were just worried about getting more, or something else." I know. As I read, it sounds like overkill, like I overreacted. And I think I felt that way because I understood why he complained, and it frustrated me that he complained and that I have too. Sigh. Isn't that just me. Wanting more, worried about what someone else has, what I do not, what gifts God chooses to give to others and not me. Ouch. that is going to sting for a while.