This morning, Ashley had a major freak-out.
I mean, epic.
It has been building for a while now, the anxiety started over Thanksgiving break. Whenever she would think about the up and coming “writing journals” in her kindergarten class, she would get a little sick. She is a perfectionist (like someone else I know..) and worries until she is sick, about spelling anything correctly.
I tell her that I still don’t know how to spell everything correctly. “There is this magical thing on the computer, that whenever I spell something wrong, it underlines it in a squiggly red line. Then, I know I have spelled it wrong. But the cooler thing, the thing that makes this even more magical, is that I can right click (sad that my 6 year old knows just what this action is) and it gives me options for words that I could have possibly meant to spell. Except for amoxicillin, it has no idea what that word is most of the time.”
Back to the epic freak-out…
So, she was suddenly sick. (Insert fake coughs here.) She couldn’t possible go to school. But me and my mad mommy skills knew she was faking it. We talked about why she didn’t want to go, what she was afraid of, and I thought I had cleared it all up. We even ran through how to sound out and then spell a word phonetically.
“Your teacher loves you. You can ask her for help and she will help you. This is what kindergarten is all about, nobody in your class is perfect, you are all learning. We can say a prayer before you leave, just me and you, and ask Heavenly Father to help you.”
But when I walked into her room at 8:05 (five minutes before she should leave to walk), she was sitting on the ladder of her bunk bed STILL IN HER NIGHTGOWN.
I resisted the urge to scream at her, and instead, took her by the hand to help her get ready. We talked (well, I did most of the talking) while she got ready.
I asked her what the problem was, I said that I thought we’d solved it.
“Aren’t we going to say a prayer, just you and me?”
“But mom, I know the prayer won’t work.”
“It won’t with that attitude. You just need to have faith.”
“But I don’t know how to have faith… how do you have faith mom?”
In that moment, a million memories flooded my head. Experiences I have had in my life, dealing with faith. I was trying to come up with the most age-appropriate one, one that would be on her level.
“When I was 3, I got a doll for Christmas. I named her Susie. I thought that was the most beautiful name. Susie had eyes that would open and shut when I laid her down. She even had eyelashes. I loved her. I also loved her eyelashes. I would touch them and explore how they worked. I even started to pull on them to see where they came from. I kept pulling, and they came out. I was so sad, my beautiful doll wasn’t so pretty anymore. I was sorry that I wasn’t more careful.
“I knelt down that night, by my bed, with Susie, and said a prayer. I asked Heavenly Father to help her eyelashes grow back. I told him how I was sad and wished I hadn’t pulled on them. Do you think that Heavenly Father could have fixed my doll?”
She just shook her head, her eyes wide. I knew I had her attention.
“I thought that somehow he could, but I didn’t know how. I fully expected to wake up the next morning with Susie, perfect again.
“I didn’t know, and I don’t remember how all of this happened, but I remember getting out of bed, Susie wasn’t with me in my bed. I saw that there was a light on in the kitchen, and I went to see what was happening. I saw grandpa, my dad, standing at the stove, with the hood light on, Susie laying there on the stove. Grandpa had one of his paint brushes, he was curling the hairs on the brush with my mom’s tiny curling iron. He was fixing Susie.
“He cut some of the curled hairs off the brush, and carefully glued them back into Susie’s eye lid. He fixed her. My prayer was answered. Did Heavenly Father fix Susie?
Ashley just shook her head, but I corrected her.
“Grandpa heard my prayer and knew that he had to answer it. My faith depended on it. Years later, as we would talk, grandpa told me that he didn’t know how he was going to fix my doll, but Heavenly Father helped him to know what to do. He was given ideas of what he could use to fix her, and it worked. Heavenly Father answered my prayer. I had faith that he would.”
After that, being a little too late to walk to school, I took Ashley into my closet, shut the door, and we knelt down together and we said a prayer.
She was so calm after that.
I dropped the girls off at school, not a problem there.
When I went to pick her up, she was beaming.
“Guess what mom!?”
“What? How was you day?”
“It was great!!! The writing journal wasn’t a big deal. It was so easy!! We did letter “F” and I spelled “fox” and I did it right. You were right, there was nothing to worry about.”
“Did Heavenly Father answer our prayer?”