Rules of the Playground

Photo Credit: Sarah Reck

Photo Credit: Sarah Reck

I’m not a mommy blogger type.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

It’s just not me.

That said, I love to read really good, funny mom blogs.

Makes me feel less alone in the world when a fellow mom in the trenches of parenthood shares about how her child smeared diaper paste over every wall in the house, or how their child has been sharing meals with the family dog for the past month. . .from the same spoon, or how they might, just might pull all of their hair out if they have to hear the word “why?” ever again.

I, however, am not a mommy blogger.

Today though, I am crossing over.

Because I have a really good reason. . .

someone was mean to my kid.

So, instead of taking out my momma bear rage on the 5 year old that picked on my  kid, I’m putting it down here.

Here’s how it went down. . .

We like to go this open gym sometimes to burn off some energy on Friday mornings.

It’s fun, crazy and full of gymnastics equipment like trampolines, foam pits, rope swings, balance beams, and on and on.

So my oldest, heads to one of the areas that has a small foam pit encircled by an oversized foam mat.

There’s 2 boys there who refuse to let him in.

Like they own the foam pit.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting about 10 feet away watching this, slowly shifting my hands so that I’m sitting on them so that the other moms can’t see me curling and uncurling my fists.

I wanted to get up and say something, but part of me felt like I should just sit there for a minute and see how Dom handled it.

I was proud.

He handled it like a champ.

He talked to them for awhile as they blocked the entrance with their bodies.

Finally, he gave up and walked away to do something else.

Later, one of the same boys tried to take a foam block from Dom.

But he held his ground and nicely said, “No, this one is mine”.

And he walked away.

Bear with me, this is not me ranting about other people’s kids.

God knows I’m not qualified for that kind of blog.

But that pretty much sums up the altercation.

Not a huge deal. . .unless you’re a mom and it’s your kid.

As we were leaving, I pulled Dom aside and told him I was really proud of him that he didn’t pick a fight and instead walked away.  And then, I felt this prompting to use the opportunity to teach him about kindness,  because at home we’ve been talking about how kindness can change people and change situations.

And this must have been a God-prompting-me-type-of-thing, because my inner momma bear was still not happy with this punk kid that messed with my cub.

I asked Dom if he remembered our talk about kindness and how it can change things.

He nodded.

“Dom,this would be a great chance to give that block to that, ahem, ‘mean kid’ “(I couldn’t resist).  “You know, show him some kindness?” I said.

He said he wanted some time to think about it.

And in the end – Dom ended up choosing not to, which was fine.

I can’t force kindness and I wouldn’t want to.

Anymore than God wants to force us to show kindness to others.

But I felt the whisper of God across my heart and I had this lightbulb moment where I understood why God asks us to repay cruelty and meanness with kindness.

As I watched the boys treat Dom meanly, I knew he had 3 choices.

Be afraid

Be mean back

Or show kindness

And I knew that the fruit of being afraid was not good.

Can you say doormat?

Being mean back would make his behavior no better than theirs.

Kindness would preserve his integrity and help the situation.  Nothing else would have.

I won’t lie, it’s hard to choose kindness.

And I can only imagine how God must feel when someone is mean to his “cubs”.

You know, thoughts of lightning bolts and the ground swallowing people whole would probably do it.

It crossed my mind for a moment.

But  it wouldn’t fix anything.

We would never learn how to maintain the character that God has instilled in us.

We would never learn the measure of our own God given strength.

We would never learn how to change a situation for someone else’s benefit.

Which is why we can’t bring that weak stuff to the playground.

It is the kindness of God that brings us to repentance (change).

You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Romans 2:3-4 (The Message)

2 thoughts on “Rules of the Playground

  1. lauraolson says:

    Haha good work, mommy. I thought bratty kids only existed in Turkey. I’m not so glad to hear they are in America too. Your perspective here, and your ability to help Dom talk through what kindness looks like is really admirable. Well done. I’m afraid I would have marched right over and shoved the kids out of the way to let Sofia play…


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