Monday, January 10, 2011

The Manic Monday Blues

My son has the blues. He gets them about once a week. They are always on the same day... Monday. Yep...Monday. It is always a crying fest at our house on Mondays. He struggles to get out of bed, crying and complaining. He asks for "five more minutes" of sleep, about five times. You do the math. He drags his feet and pleads not to go to school. I have to get out my imaginary pom-poms and cheer him out of bed, all the while hearing him whine, and continue to cheer him until we head out the door. This is our entire morning routine...every Monday. I started noticing a pattern a few months ago. And looking back to last year...it's definitely a reoccuring issue. I should have known this would come up again... When he was much younger and in preschool, and ALL the way to first grade...it was much worse. He would begin crying as soon as the door opened to get into the car. His stomach would begin to hurt and he would cry and wail the entire way to school. I would then peel him out of his car seat or seat belt, while he screamed bloody murder in the parking lot of the school. As we walked down the sidewalk to his classroom, the crying got even worse and louder...if that's possible. He would then start to cry and plead with me, "No mommy, no! Please no!" Not embarassing at all. I would stay a few minutes to make sure that he was alright, and then sneak out of the classroom. As I walked down the sidewalk to get into my car, I could see through the window that he was in the arms of his teacher crying and screaming. My heart would break. I would then proceed to drive to work...doubting my ability as a mother, while tears streamed down my cheeks as I sobbed. This was every day...every day! For months. Months! It was emotionally exhausting. So...I guess I could say, that now is a breeze compared to those moments. I am so glad he doesn't do that anymore. Now...he uses other tactics. He normally gives one of three reasons for needing to miss Mondays. The first is that he is tired. I feel ya little guy...I feel ya. The second is that his stomach hurts. And the third is that his head hurts. Last week, he got a little creative when he called me in the middle of the day from school. It was his first day back after a two week Christmas break. It was a Wednesday, but in his mind...it was definitely a Manic Monday and he had the blues. The call came about 12:40, right after lunch and recess. (He made sure to get the important things in before his panic stricken phone call.) The school nurse reassured me that he was fine and that he wasn't running any fever. She put him on the phone and he began to tell me, in his most pathetic voice ever..."Hi Mom, I don't feel good. I'm tired and my head and stomach hurt. You have to come and get me." Really? He came at me with all his barrells loaded! Uggghhhh! What's a mother to do? I calmed him down and asked him if he thought he could make the rest of the day and of course he said "No". Not "maybe", not "I'll try", not "okay"...a flat out "NO"! To which I began to cheer him on with my imaginary pom-poms in hand, "You can do it. Come on, only two more hours. Go back to class and if you don't feel better in one hour...you can call me back and I will come and get you. Okay? You can do it." "You promise?" He asked while fighting back the tears. "Yes. I promise." I replied. That was that. I picked him up at 3:05 and his face was glowing with a smile. I remember one Monday...ONE...that he did not feel the Manic Monday Blues. It was field trip day. They were going to the Alaxandria Zoo. He was up at the butt crack of dawn! (Excuse my french) Awake before I even went into his room to get him up. He was dressed, ready to go and it looked as though he had drank an entire pot of extra caffeinated coffee! He was bouncing off the walls! No pom-poms needed that day...maybe a tranquelizer...but definitely no pom-poms. I could understand if he didn't like school or if he made bad grades. But, if you ask him he will tell you he loves school. He makes perfect grades. He has a wonderful friendly attitude with the kids and his teachers. He even made Terrific Kid for this past six weeks in his class. And before you go calling child protection on me. I do let him stay home when he is really sick. But surprisingly, it's normally never on a Monday. I don't know how many times I have tried to explain to him how the school system works, and how he only gets so many days to miss. I explain how I could get in alot of trouble for letting him miss too much school that isn't necessary. I'm not the biggest fashionista around, but I'm pretty sure I will NOT look good in prison orange! Today is Monday...you can guess what our morning was like. I normally drop him off at the sidewalk, so he can walk to his class under the pavillion. Nope...not today. He was so distraught, I had to walk him to his class and have a talk with his teacher explaining his tear stained cheeks. And of course, his head and stomach hurt. Shocker! He cried the entire way to school and it got louder the closer we approached. Oh...and the whole "Mom could go to jail" issue, doesn't seem to be affecting his decision making. He asked me this morning if I could call and find out how many days he had already missed and how many more days he has left!! Thanks a bunch son, thanks a bunch! I might as well go ahead and reserve my bunk in the county jail. (So not funny.) Thankfully, all ended well today. He made it through the entire school day and as usual, I picked him up with an enormous smile on his face, excited to tell me about his day. Thank the good Lord! This got me thinking... I wonder...how many of us have the blues on Sunday morning? Yes...I went there. How many of us kick, whine, and scream while having to be cheered out of bed and lured out the door? How many of us suddenly have an ailment that we didn't have until our eyes opened that morning? How many of us complain all the way on the ride to church because our spouse made us get out of bed? How many excuses do we come up with, trying to avoid going? Even though we know, that if we get up and go, we will be blessed abundantly and leave feeling better than we did when we got there. And surprisingly, completely healed! ( Ouch!) Yep...been there, done that. I'm guilty. I do know of course, that there are times that we are honestly sick or busy with family issues that may prevent us from making it to church. Life happens. But, I do know, from my own experience, that if I miss over and over and over again for silly reasons or excuses...that in itself becomes habit forming. And before I know it...I've missed way too many Sundays and begin to feel worn out spiritually. That's why it's important to cheer yourself on and get out of your slump...and get that spiritual nourishment we all so desperately need. And no, I don't think God is up in heaven taking score of who goes and how often. The truth is...we are only hurting our own spiritual walk by not going. Just like my son won't learn without going to school, we won't grow without our spiritual nourishment. But, one thing He does want from us...is a happy willing heart. A willingness to grow in Him. The only difference between the two situations mentioned above is, my son is in the third grade. We are all adults. Are are we? Just because we are called "children" of God, doesn't mean we have to act like them. Maybe we should start listening to the sweet soft gentle voice of our Father cheering us on:
"Come on, it's only a couple of hours in your day. Come spend time with Me. Come worship Me. I promise, you will leave feeling better than you did before. And if you don't, you can call on My name and I will be there waiting for You, ready to meet You where you are."
Romans 8:6 To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Proverbs 16:20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he. Hebrews 6:12 Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Psalm 30:1 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

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