You Know What They Say About Assuming!
So yesterday I was so excited to surprise Colby at his school for Family Day. You see I had gotten an email from his school detailing how Friday was the day to go and eat lunch with your child and make sure you as the parent don’t miss out.
So I bought a tray of chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-a and headed up to Colby’s middle school. I did not want to be late for the surprise to see Colby’s face when I showed up with one of his favorite foods and of course, his favorite MOM!
At the school that day the students had “open lunch”, which means they could sit anywhere they wanted for the day and did not have their typical assigned seats with their class. As Colby walked in he said to me, “What are you doing here?” I explained to him about it being Family Day. We took a seat.
Several kids sat down around us and I opened up the tray of food and sat there. All of the other boys began to say what a great mother I was. All of the other boys thanked me. All of the other boys asked me when I was coming back again. All of the boys said it was the best lunch ever. All of the other boys engaged in conversation with me. As a matter of fact, they were the only ones that talked the whole time. Colby sat there silent. Colby never said one word.
When lunch was over I quickly got up. I knew I was struggling to keep the tears in. As I was leaving all the boys waved and thanked me again. All of them except MY son. He did nothing. I wished I would have never come to the school. I was filled with pain and regret. I felt rejected.
On the way home I felt even worse. I felt like Colby was ashamed of me, embarrassed of me, oh you name and I thought Colby was thinking that of me. I even tossed around the feeling of losing him and his affection now that he was a teenager. So many emotions went through my mind and my heart. All I knew was I was in pain and my emotions were raw. I mean I had all the “proof” in the world, right? It’s just the way he treated me. I wasn’t making it up. What happened, happened! It was just painful.
I knew the healthy thing to do was to talk to Colby although it was very hard to admit how I was feeling. I knew I had to. After I explained myself to him, Colby began to tell me what happened from his point of view. I was shocked.
Colby said that he didn’t know that it was Family Day so he was genuinely surprised. He then told me that all of the boys who gathered around us (remember it was open lunch day) were boys he didn’t even know. He thought they sat there for some free chicken, which they got. So he felt uncomfortable and didn’t say much of anything because he did not even know these guys who were sitting down eating his food and talking to his mother. He said the whole time at lunch he was just perplexed and that is why he was silent. He just didn’t know what to say or even who these guys were. He said, “Mom I felt awkward.”
He hugged me and said to me that he would never want me to feel that way and how much he loved me. He said that I could come back any time. He felt really bad that I had gotten my feelings hurt.
Isn’t it interesting how we can let ourselves go down a path because of assumptions? What if I would have never talked to Colby? I would have walked around with a seed in my heart of “my son has outgrown me, he doesn’t care.” Funny thing about a seed, if you don’t deal with it quickly, you have an oak tree on your hands. Your heart becomes bitter. It’s much easier to pluck out a seed than try to uproot that oak tree!
Healthy relationships are not optional for us who call ourselves Christians. Have those hard conversations. Work on relationships with others. Deal with offense and pain. Uproot negative seeds. Allow people the benefit of the doubt. I know I want the benefit of the doubt so maybe it would be great if I learned to give it too. It would make our marriages healthier, our churches healthier, our places of business healthier, our families healthier, and our own lives healthier!
Have you ever realized you made some inaccurate assumptions before? You know what they say about assuming!