Tuesday, August 20, 2013

For Jacob

Shoes In Africa

So, the kiddos came home telling me all about their first day of school.  Emilee and Sam were both super excited to fill me in on the activities of their day.  Jake, on the other hand, was a bit quiet. We always play the “Rate Your Day” game, so I initiated. 

He said, “Well.. give me my scale.”

“You know the scale, Buddy”, I replied.  “One = awful, Ten = awesome… so, how was it”??

“I guess a four, he quietly commented.”

“Four?? Really?? On the first day?  May I ask why?” I said, very concerned.

“Well”, as he fought back tears, “I have ABSOLUTELY NO FRIENDS in my class… Nobody to talk to.”

Being a bit of a “helicopter mom” (that’s what my hubby calls a mom who hovers a little too much), this broke my heart.  You have to understand… Jake is not an incredibly social creature; very quiet and mostly to-himself, but he usually has at least one buddy in his class.  6th grade is a very difficult age to feel all alone.

When Papa (my Daddy) called this evening to find out all about how today went for his grandbabies, I shared this with him.

He reminded me of a story…

The Story of the Shoe Salesmen in Africa

Two shoe salesmen were sent to Africa to see if there was a market for their product.

The first salesman reported back, “This is a terrible business opportunity, no-one wears shoes.”

The second salesman reported back, “This is a fantastic business opportunity, no-one wears shoes.”

The only question that I have is, when confronted with a problem or challenge, which salesman are you?

This helped me understand how to encourage Jake.  Okay, so you have “no friends” in your class… YET. But the possibility for friendship is there.  Maybe you’ll make the best friend you’ve ever had in your life… You’ll never know until you try.  Meanwhile you can keep in touch with your other friends at recess, and through texting and XBox Live.  It’s not a total loss.  It’s a growing experience.

Yes.  Growing hurts sometimes.  Just like when you wake up in the night with your legs aching… but it’s part of the process.  Part of life.

I’m so glad I have wise people in my life (like Papa) to keep me grounded, so that I may in turn keep my kiddos grounded, while seeking for new journeys and adventures.

As a Mama I experience growing pains, too.  It’s hard to watch your little chicks fall and struggle as they learn to fly.  But it’s completely necessary to teach them how to spread their wings, so that one day that can not only fly the coop, but soar on to great things!

My Mama has a cross-stitched quote that hangs on the wall beside the entrance to her family room.

There are two great gifts we can give our children.

One is roots, the other is wings!

Lord Jesus, give me the strength and wisdom to do just that!!


  1. Oooo, such a tough balance though, eh? And the really tricky part is, it's constantly changing! One day you're fixing all their problems for them and that's what you're supposed to be doing, but the next day you have to let them figure things out because that's what they really need. But it hurts like nothing else to keep my mouth shut and my hands to myself! I guess it's growing time not just for them, but for us, too.

    And I do hope the rest of his week will steadily improve. ♥

  2. Thank you, Sweet Friend!! ((HUGS))


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