Until my dear 6 year-old came home from school one day and while I was making lunch randomly announced slightly hesitantly "Mommy, I got a stop sign at school today."
It took me more than a few seconds to think through what in the world she was talking about. This is my little girl who is mostly the stereotypical rule follower. You tell her not to do something and she won't (unless she's not listening, but that's never a problem...ha!) or you ask her to do something and she will.
When we got the stacks of handouts at the beginning of the school year, the sheet outlining the process of discipline was one I only briefly skimmed over. Thankfully I did at least skim it so that somewhere in a corner of my mind I remembered something about this "stop sign" phenomenon.
Anyway, I stopped preparing lunch and sat down with Charlee who proceeded to explain to me why she got a stop sign. She was somewhat apprehensive as I would imagine she didn't know what to expect in terms of a possible consequence. I just listened as she shared with me that she was talking after her teacher had asked her to stop...possibly more than once.
I took away two things from this:
First, I was elated that she shared this with me. The fact that she chose to tell me about it meant the world to me. Not because it was a big deal, but because I want desperately for my kids to always know they can come to me with anything and one day this "small thing" could be a "big thing" and I still want them to come. My prayer is that the foundation is being laid in their little lives that they know they can trust me to love them in spite of the sometimes not wise choices they make...just like Jesus loves me when after 35 years I still screw up...daily.
The second thing that secretly thrilled me about this stop sign is that I NEVER would have gotten a stop sign...EVER!!! So why does this stop sign excite me? Because it means I have a little girl who is social...who loves people...and who LOVES to talk...apparently to them....during class. So, while her choice of when to talk wasn't the greatest the fact that she will most likely never be labeled a "deaf mute" like her mom was brings joy to my heart.
I thanked Jesus this day that the phrase "stop sign" has a whole new meaning in my life and that it made me smile and reminded me of the grace that He continues to show me daily.