A couple of months ago, before Halloween, TH came home with a package of glow-in-the-dark bracelets he'd picked up in the $1 bin at Target. He also had one large "glo-stick" that we intended to use for trick or treating on Halloween. The package of bracelets came in much handier than we'd planned once we realized that J would do just about anything to play with one before bed. They became the bribe du jour, the incentive to brush his teeth, put on his PJ's in a timely manner, or say his prayers without jumping all over the room. He was completely fascinated with turning the lights off and dancing around with them like a college freshman at his first rave.
As luck would have it, we completely forgot about the big glo-stick on Halloween, and didn't need it anyway because someone gave J a jack-o-lantern shaped flashlight that quickly replaced the glo-bracelets as The Next Big Thing. Until TH randomly found the big glo-stick in the junk drawer a few weeks ago and in a truly inspired moment showed it to J, then whisked it away and told him he had to do Something Really Special to get that glo-stick. For awhile now we've been teaching J the Lord's Prayer, reciting it together before bed. TH told J that if he memorized the Lord's Prayer and was able to say it completely by himself, he could have the glo-stick. This was one month ago. Every night since then, when we kneel down for prayers, we've asked J if he wants to try to say it by himself, and every night he says no, he wants us all to say it together. And every night we remind him that there's a glo-stick in the cabinet downstairs with his name on it.
Today, I officially lost my job. The full-time one. The Grinch pretty much stole Christmas. Here's how it went down:
Grinch: I need to talk to you about the new contract I promised to give you once I bought the practice.
Me: Great, let's get to it.
Grinch: Well, see, here's the thing. I talked to my accountant, and...the numbers just don't add up. Once the practice is officially mine it will be a one-doctor practice, and the one doctor will be me.
Me: uh....what? When is this all supposed to go down, again? February? March? (This is what I was told last week).
Grinch: Well, see, here's the thing. Everything got kind of expedited so...I'm taking over Christmas Eve. So that will be your last day.
Me: Christmas Eve?? Like, next Friday Christmas Eve?
Grinch: Yep. As of the 24th I won't be able to pay you. I mean, maybe you could work one day a week as an hourly employee or something...I'm really sorry to do this to you a week before Christmas. You're an excellent doctor, the clients love you, I feel terrible about it, blah blah blah, b.s. b.s b.s, blah blah... I'll understand if you don't want to come in next week.
So I sadly cleaned 4 years of detritus from my desk, and left early to pick the boys up and spend some time with them. J could tell I was a little off all afternoon, and when he asked me about it I decided to be honest and explain as much as I could. "Remember when I told you how Mommy and Daddy work so we can have enough money to take care of the family and buy things?
Remember the blue pawprint building where Mommy works with the sick animals? Well, I can't work there anymore. They don't have enough money to pay me. So I'll have to work someplace else and it's making me sad." J looked sad, too. He's come to visit me at work dozens of times, I started at this practice when he was 5 months old. Every time we drive past the clinic he shouts, "Mommy! There's your work! Let's go in there and see Waffle!" (Waffle is a cat that lives there.)
He didn't say much about it after that. At bedtime, it was my turn with him (we take turns each night one of us with each kid), and after a couple of books we settled down for bedtime prayers. I kind of wearily asked if he wanted to try the Lord's Prayer. He didn't answer me. He just knelt next to his bed, put his hands together...and did it. The whole thing. From start to finish, without messing up or stumbling over the words once. It seemed like it just poured out of him effortlessly. My FOUR YEAR OLD. It gave me chills listening to him, he sounded so peaceful and grown-up. I can only compare it to that scene at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas when Linus quotes the Bible passage about the first Christmas. It was like the woe-is-me haze lifted and I could see our future right in front of me, in our little boy. I started crying.
"You are the best thing that ever happened to me," I told him.
And you better believe he got that glo-stick.
Pretending to be a Jedi.
Practice makes perfect
8 years ago