Pray for the Boy
Announcing a new approach to Aaron's orneriness: prayer. Not that we haven't prayed for the boy before, but Amy has decided that when Aaron starts acting up, that's our cue to pray. I joked to her at first that, if anything, we'll be getting a lot of prayer in, but Amy shot me a look back as if to say, "I'm serious."
I failed my first test on this. Aaron went from cheery little schoolboy to grumpy curmudgeon as soon as I arrived earlier this week to pick him up from school. A little girl was attempting to sweep the floor but only succeeding in lurching the broom handle dangerously close to Aaron's face, so I jerked him away from danger, which only made him more upset at me. It had been a long day for me so I did not respond to his silent and mopey protest very well, pleading with him in a loud voice to put his hat and gloves on.
It must have been quite a scene once we hit the road: guy with ski mask and trench coat pedaling madly down the street, little boy spitting out angry words like "you hurt me" and "I'm going tell my mom on you." At one point, I stopped at an intersection and turned around to spank him on his hand, but instead I lost balance and Aaron's center of gravity tilted the bike to the point of no return, such that I could only gently lay it sideways on the street. Three passersby came to help me get upright again, and I can only hope they only saw us fall and not what caused us to fall.
When we arrived at Jada's, he was still hot at me. I asked him to stay to the right as we climbed the stairs, so that we wouldn't be in the way of people descending. He refused angrily, and took umbrage as I corralled him to the right anyway. By the time we got home, he was a crying heap, and it seemed everything I was doing was only pouring gasoline on his fire.
In short, I had several opportunities to put Amy's exhortation into action and pray for the boy, but I was too wound up from a hard day at work and a constantly belligerent son. I think God likes when we pray in the moment, and I missed the moment. But I think God also likes when we accept that we can't press rewind but we can at least pray when we have the chance. So here I am now, praying for the boy, hoping God will soften him and help him to trust that my instruction is for his good and my love for him is genuine.