Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One of my All Time Favorite Kid Stories...

When we lived in Mississippi we were part of a small Calvary Chapel (first one in the state) that initially met in a day care. Our friends that visited this past weekend were also part of that church. They started coming when their fourth child (of 7) was just 4 weeks old. Anna, the oldest of their children, was five years old. After the service the kids would all go out to the playground while we parents talked and packed up all the church things.

One Sunday Anna came inside and informed me that Double Shot would not allow her to play on the monkey bars, that they were a boys club and girls were not allowed. I told her to go tell Double Shot that I said he had to let her play with them.

Anna always wanted to play with the boys. They didn't want her around because she told them what to do. For whatever reason, Double Shot, who is a year older than her, was the one that most commonly elicited her ire.

Moments later Anna came back inside and stomped right up to me with her eyes ablaze.

Anna: Miss Kelly! Double Shot won't let me play with the boys AND HE HIT ME!!!

Well... I went right on out there and pulled him to the side.

Me: Anna said you won't let her play and you hit her!

Double Shot: She tells us what to do! We don't want to play with her. This is a boys club. NO GIRLS ALLOWED!!!

Me: Oh NO! You are NOT to hit other kids, especially girls! You are going to have to tell her you are sorry and let her play with you.

Double Shot: I don't want to play with HER! And I'm NOT sorry and I WON'T tell her I'm sorry!!!

Me: I grabbed hold of his arm... Yes, you are going to tell her you are sorry and you are going to let her play with you.

Double Shot: he kicked dirt at me while wrenching himself from my grasp... I WON'T!!!

I didn't quite know what to do. Needless to say, Double Shot has always been a challenge. Anna was sitting a bit away from us on the merry-go-round watching and waiting. The other boys were playing and not paying any attention at all to what was happening. I decided this was going to have to be dealt with at home so I sent Double Shot to his father and went over to Anna.

Me: Anna, I am very sorry that Double Shot hit you. That is not okay. I'm not going to make him say he's sorry to you right now because he wouldn't mean it. I promise you though... when he does apologize, he is going to mean it.

Anna: Yes, well... if you don't discipline him now he will grow up to be a man who abuses women!

She was FIVE YEARS OLD. I was STUNNED and I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open. Double Shot did apologize to her the next time he saw her. They continued in their conflicts over the next several years. Anna, ever watchful and ready to point out any and all infractions and Double Shot ever resentful of her telling him what he should or should not be doing.

After I retold this story as we all sat around the table on Father's Day...

Double Shot: Anna, I want to officially apologize for hitting you eleven years ago and I want you to know I am NOT a woman abuser.

Anna: I officially accept your apology.

Oh my, did we all laugh!!!

Anna has been homeschooled her entire life and has been touring colleges. She's been to Africa twice. Once with her mother and sister and then last summer as part of a missionary team. She's thinking about studying criminology and becoming a lawyer. She mentioned that she might like to work with an organization like the International Justice Mission. I showed her the book I was reading about IJM... she hadn't seen it before and spent some of her time here going through it herself.

I am amazed by how consistent this girl has been throughout her life. She is driven... or being pushed along by the very hand of God. I've no doubt that she is going to be a champion for those who cannot stand for themselves.

Visit Anna's mother's blog Musings from Graceland! Their 14 year old daughter is currently on a missions trip to Romania and the entire family is looking into moving to Africa permanently in the next 4 years.


Mrs. Beamer said...

Hmmmm....Anna sounds like she was a domineering, bossy, manipulative little brat. I wouldn't have tried to force the boys to have to play with someone they absolutely couldn't stand. Maybe her mother or father should have instructed her on how to behave to get along better with other kids. She consequently might have had more playmates!

joanne said...

great story, she sounds like an amazing young woman.

Coffee Bean said...

Hey Mrs. Beamer!

Now... Anna was not that bad! Oh my goodness! LOL! She definitely had very strong convictions as to what was right and what was wrong and had no qualms about voicing them. However, most of the time she ran around with our girls which are 4 and 5 years older than she is. She was the only girl her age, a bit of a tomboy and just wanted to run with the boys sometimes. Double Shot had two older sisters, the oldest of which was always telling him what to do and/or telling on him. He also has a very intense personality and I think that is why they clashed.

Mrs. Beamer said...

I've had a few experiences with little girls that were similar to how you described Anna. My son was in the gifted program for many of his school years. Boy, was that an incubator for "mean, bossy, manipulative and domineering little brats with strong personalities". Most of the kids in the mainstream classrooms hated to be around them because of the above mentioned personality traits.

I heard many parents during our gifted program parents meetings complain how none of the regular kids would have anything to do with the gifted kids. If they had just watched and analyzed their "special" children interacting with the "normal" children, it was easy to see why that was so.

When I read your son's reaction to Anna, I thought back to my son's school days. We always taught our son that his intelligence was a gift from God to use in some way to glorify Him and not to be used to make others feel inferior or less capable.

I also was a tomboy that ran with a group of guys most of my childhood. I played army and wrestled. I played football, basketball and baseball. I held my own against all of them. To them I was just one of the guys and the thought of bossing them around would never have occurred to me. I just wanted to have fun and fit in. I still, as an adult, would much rather be with men than women.

So that is why I reacted strongly to your description of Anna. I could completely understand your son's perspective in being forced to play with a person like that. Hopefully, she has now grown up and out of an awful stage and has blossomed into a lovely young woman.

Just Me said...

This story is HYSTERICALLY FUNNY! I absolutely love those oh-so-mature pearls that occasionally fall from a kid's lips.

Trisha said...

Wow - that was one "enlightened" little girl. I wonder if there was something in the extended family which caused her to be talked to about that kind of stuff.

Did I miss you telling us if the Botox is working or not?

Melody said...

Wow! What a strong personality, even at 5! I hope that she finds the niche she was meant for. :)

BTW, you have an award over at my blog, so come by and pick it up, okay? :)