Yesterday, I picked up Garrett from pre-school on our way to visit a friend who is recovering from a car accident. At our school, you simply drive through and the teacher brings your child to you and buckles them in the car for you. It is a nice opportunity to chat directly with the teacher for just a few minutes, and to be informed of what goes on during the day. We've had some pretty interesting conversations with Mrs. Flournoy in these few brief minutes each day. Some of them involve the reasons Garrett got a "sad stamp" that day, some of them are about something really funny or interesting he did, and he even lost his first tooth at school one day. I can tell by the look on Mrs. Flournoy's face when she starts to walk towards the van if she is going to report something positive, or something that will require discussion and discipline when we got home. This time, though, I couldn't quite read the expression on her face.
She opened the door and put Garrett in, and asked, "Hey girl! Did you get a new job?"
I looked at her quizically and said, "No....why?"
"Well, Garrett was telling me today that you got a job as a doctor at the clinic."
Wow! I was shocked. We had a good laugh as I explained that I have no idea where that came from. I just teach violin part-time. She knows not to believe too much of what he says--most days he pretends to be Buzz Lightyear or a character from "The Incredibles". We have a mutual agreement that she won't believe 50% of what he says about us if we won't believe 50% of he says about pre-school. :)
Well, that was the end of the conversation, but the beginning of our little drive. I was a little puzzled over why Garrett would tell her something like that, so I asked him why he told Mrs. Flournoy that I am a doctor. He said, "I was just pretending, Mommy." I explained that if he was going to pretend like that, he needed to tell Mrs. Flournoy that he was just pretending because sometimes people can't tell and they might think something that isn't right.
So just to be sure everything was clear, I asked him, "What is Mommy's real job, Garrett?" I was really getting at the teaching and playing violin thing, but I wasn't prepared for his answer.
He paused for a moment. Then he said, "To teach me the things that God says."
I gasped. I was speechless (for just a second, anyway.) I reached back to his seat and grabbed his hand and said, "You're right son. My most important job is to be your mommy and teach you the things that God says." I tried not to burst into tears. He smiled for a minute and then moved on to something else. But I won't forget that moment. Sometimes in the craziness of everyday life--of breaking up fights between Garrett and Vivian, of putting him in time out over and over and over for the same reasons, of constantly repeating the same reasons that it's not ok to whine/lie/argue/hit/throw toys/climb on the furniture/etc. etc. etc.--, it's easy to think that we're just not getting through. But I guess we are. At least a little bit. And for that, I am grateful.