A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Scared at night

I spent many, many nights growing up scared of things. Scared robbers were going to come in my windows, scared of who-knows-what ... I still remember having nightmares about Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Yup. I had lots of fears to deal with and surrender as I have grown up. And I also know, the unknown can be scary, and kids just deal with that. Have to learn that we can't know everything, but that God is watching over us, over them. Hovering.

Usually Jonah has been the one voicing fears. But Reuben, as of late, has been telling us at night that he is scared. Sometimes I can tell this is a ploy - the child isn't very tired and when put to bed and cannot immediately fall asleep, he works to get us back in his room. "Lay with me" he pleads.

Two nights ago, Eli was tucking them in, and Reuben says, "Daddy, I'm scared". Eli asks him what he is scared of. "Scared of the REALLY bad guys that are going to come down from heaven and get me!" What???? Eli assured him that there are no bad guys in heaven - to be sure! - and that God is in heaven, and God is watching over him. Finally got him to release the idea, and fall asleep.

Day Two: Eli is tucking Reuben in. Gives him a kiss and starts to walk out of the room. "Daddy, I'm scared". Scared of what? "I'm really scared of punching people in the face". (yes, Eli was perplexed too). Talks to Reuben, not so much about punching people in the face, but about why we don't need to be scared and that not only is his safe in his house with Mommy and Daddy, but God watches over him. And then we sat on the couch together and wondered: did he mean he was scared that someone would punch him in the face? Or was he feeling bad for getting in trouble earlier that day for shoving Jonah? Sometimes, with Reuben, you just never know.

Ah, the tightrope balance. If he really is scared, we have to work through it. But, when he is just trying to be manipulative, where do we draw the line? Working on that. I will readily admit we are not experts on parenting! But, wanting to be the best we can be, with God's help!

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