Saturday, February 2, 2013

It Worked

Reading a marvelous blog post on The Bell of the Wanderer last night, I immediately thought of Bunny.

When this beloved oldest grandchild of mine was three, she sometimes had trouble with tantrums. Anger would overtake her and cause all of the manifestations we can associate with that age: crying, kicking, screaming, flailing, stomping, hurling herself backwards onto the floor.

One day when something didn't suit Bunny, we endured a painful stretch of minutes filled with 'all of the above.'  Finally, (after exhausting what I thought of as my options) I leaned in close and said, softly, 'Sweetie, you don't have to do this.'

The answer was a definitive 'YES I DO!!!'  Bunny stuck out her lip and emphatically crossed her arms.

'But you know, you can stop whenever you want.' 

'No I CAN'T!!!' (shouted). 

'Then you can ask Jesus to help you.'  I waited.

Still angry, still crying, still stomping, Bunny yelled through clenched teeth:  'Jesus - HELP ME!!"

I was surprised.  I realized I hadn't expected her to do it.. not really.  It hit me that Bunny probably wanted help as much as I wanted her to have it.

I looked into that precious tear-streaked face and knew.  In spite of anger, in spite of her age and immaturity, this little one meant exactly what she was saying. 

It was only a few seconds before Bunny looked up at me and smiled.

Her words came in a whisper.

'It worked.'

thebreadboxletters.blogspot.com


____________________________________________________________________
It does work.  Indeed it does.  And to read a grown up version of how beautifully, click here to visit 'Bell of the Wanderer,' and read 'I Met Him in a Foxhole.'  You'll be glad you took time to do so. 

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz

29 comments:

  1. Beautiful stories. There are tears in my eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nancy,

    Sometimes we can learn so much from children. Bunny made the perfect and quick response to your invitation.

    There have been many times when I have needed to ask for God's help but I haven't wanted to ask. I get stuck, knowing what I need to do, but at the same time, I don't want to move from that awful place of self-pity I find myself in. I know that probable doesn't make much sense! Who wouldn't want to feel better? I guess if it were easy to say, "God, help me!" and allow Him to carry us, there would be no merit in it. We really do have to fight ourselves sometimes.

    Thank you so much for the link. Yes, a beautiful post!

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Sue, I understand that feeling of not wanting to move from that "awful place of self-pity I find myself in."

      You know one day when I was in that moment, I had a thought of myself clutching onto my sorrow, like Gollum clutches onto the ring in Lord of the Rings. Sorrow needs to be expressed and shared, if only with the Lord, Who is Everything, actually. I'm SLOWLY coming to realize that God wants us to come to Him for everything. It's a slow process though, isn't it?

      Delete
  3. Nancy, thank you for the tip. I never thought to try this with my 2 y.o who also is prone to "all of the above"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this post! Wow. I'm going to try that with our little ones.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks so much to all of you! Yes, we can learn so much from children. I sometimes refer to myself as a "homeschooled grandma," learning a LOT from tiny teachers who have no idea how much instruction they're providing. And I would have had a much harder time taking the "Bunny" approach with my own children when they were small. For one thing, their anger used to make ME so frustrated. I have more patience with the grands, and I know this has to do with my age and (especially) fewer responsibilities, and with fewer multi- tasking demands all pressing in on me at once.

    I was truly SHOCKED when Bunny actually yelled out loud to Jesus in that very moment. And, I confess, I was more than a little afraid that she'd stomp off yelling "see? ... it DIDN'T work!!" But it did, because our Lord hears and answers honest prayer, and in that moment a little girl was being very honest.

    The "Sweetie, you don't have to do this" approach worked well between me and Bunny on several tantrum-occasions. She seemed to start "getting it" (when she was nearly four) that being able to DECIDE to switch gears mid-meltdown gave her some control rather than taking it away from her. Hopefully she also formed the habit of praying at such times. She's now 6 and a half, happy and nurturing, and sings her 2 year old sister to sleep at night as they lie in their bunk beds :).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Must remember this. Now the question is, did it work the next time?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you, Monica and Kathleen. I guess only Bunny would know if it worked the next time, because she never prayed aloud again, while in the midst of a tantrum, in MY presence. I told her mom about this, and probably Mommy (being a very prayerful woman) would have re-suggested it. Interestingly enough (and I just thought of this!), it seems Bunny stopped her tantrum-phase right after this time. She was with me several days a week then, and I don't remember her ever having tantrums once she neared 4. Hmmmmmmmmm...... !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! That is such good news! I am feeling pretty certain that telling Bunny she didn't have to "do this" did indeed help her little heart to see things differently!

      Delete
    2. After writing this, Monica, I've been trying to remember "what happened" with tantrums after this one ... and it's interesting. I can't recall a single one. That doesn't mean there WEREN'T any, but none that I can actually remember in my presence. It never occurred to me until just this minute that when Bunny asked Jesus to help, He wouldn't respond by giving her a for-one-time-only gift. How merciful is our God!

      Delete
  8. What a story! I loved both the adult and the child version - thanks for sharing the link and the story!

    I wish I had thought of this when my daughter was young :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wish I'd thought of it, too, Mary. Oh indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How sweet Nancy! Even a child can realize that Jesus can help us with our emotions. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you, Noreen. It's something I wish I'd know when I was a child (an emotional one!)myself.. that Jesus can and does really HELP us.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello Nancy! I'm glad you stopped by my blog and I look forward to visiting your blog, which seems full of wisdom and love for Our Good Lord. You know, when I first read this post, I thought only of my two young sons and how I'm going to try this the next time they have a meltdown. It wasn't until I read Sue's comment that I realized...I'm that screaming unconsolable child too! (Sometimes).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Elizabeth. I'm delighted that you've stopped by! And I am so often that unconsolable child too - I have often come to the realization, myself, right in the middle of a whine, that I "don't have to act the way I'm doing." And I'm talking about the ADULT me. Sigh....

      Thank God for His mercy.

      Delete
  13. I wish we would all respond so readily!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is a wonderful story. As a mother, I will be using it. I guess I could use it on myself as well. :) God bless, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's childlike faith - may we all ask Jesus for the same faith...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I will have to remember this when I have kids one day! I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Hilary. I'm delighted you stopped by!

      Delete
  17. Oh my. This is amazing. I had just such a struggle with my three-year-old today, and it never occurred to me to try this. I will try this in the future. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd be interested in what happens, Amy!

      Delete
  18. Oh Nancy, this is beautiful. I am so, so behind on blog reading and blog writing and so many other things. But I decided tonight was a good night to sift through your archives. I am so happy I did! I love this story so much!! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, thank you - and thank you for sifting through the archives! I've been thinking about actually "writing" a post again here, rather than just posting graphics/memes. I just might!!

      Bunny is now 10, and just a month or two ago mentioned remembering a time when I prayed with her...and she pointed to the exact spot in the family room where we'd prayed this prayer that "worked!" It must have left an impression! And I cannot imagine anymore that this young lady once threw tantrums.. she is super-sweet, and so very thoughtful.

      Delete