Wednesday night I was giving Molly a bath...which side note, I am that mom that dreads baths. I am not a water person and hate the thought of water splashing and getting on things that should not be wet, like the floor. However, over the last couple of months Molly and I have had a lot of really good conversations while she is taking a bath. So we were just chatting away, I was pinning on my phone, and all of a sudden she burst into tears. Like the flood gates had opened, she was sobbing, then soon started the ugly cry. I had to wait for her to calm down a little to figure out what was going on.
Once Molly was able to use words, she told me that she lied to her teacher. Now, Molly is your typical people pleaser, she wants everyone to love her, more than want, she needs everyone to love her. It's a difficult balance beam she walks on every day. I guess another little girl in her class asked her if she knew how to tie her shoes, and before Molly could say no, the teacher jumped in and told Molly how proud she was of her for learning to tie her shoes. Insert 5 year old moral dilemma.
Molly decided to remain quiet, because in her words "it made me feel really good that my teacher was proud of me." Who even knows at what time of day that happened, but by 7pm that night, Molly couldn't hold it in any longer. She felt awful, and I felt awful. Oh how she sobbed and sobbed. Molly's eye were that "cry swollen" when she woke up yesterday morning.
I faced a dilemma, one I thought before it happened I knew how I was going to respond, but I started to waiver a little bit. I always knew if my child lied, they would go apologize and right the wrong. But when Molly is sitting there feeling terrible because of her own conscious, I was heartbroken and not as tough. On one hand I knew her teacher probably wouldn't really care, or might not even find out that Molly lied. I mean obviously she would know when Molly would need help tying her shoes, but would the teacher say anything, probably not. But on the other hand I knew Molly needed to ask for forgiveness and tell her teacher that she lied.
It was hard telling Molly that the next morning she would be asking for forgiveness and confessing that by not saying anything she did indeed mislead and lie to her teacher. Oh how I knew her heart was breaking with the thought of confessing. Molly is so me. When I was younger my guilty conscious always got to me before my parents did. I would always tell on myself. Molly was so worried her teacher would not like her anymore, or wouldn't want to be her friend. I assured her that her teacher would still like her, and the world was not coming to an end.
We went together after the bell rang, I held her hand, she confessed, and she asked for forgiveness. Molly was so brave, she didn't cry, however, I was in tears and so was her teacher. We explained that we are working on tying our shoes, and that we were sorry for not telling the truth. Oh friends, this was so hard.
Her teacher was so gracious and understanding. Later in the day I received an email from her teacher telling me how she was able to talk to Molly a little more about the incident and how she told Molly she was proud of her for telling the truth and doing the right thing. Oh how my heart lept with joy for a wonderful teacher that loves my daughter.
The devotion we read before Molly went to bed last night was all about mercy, very fitting. So we were able to talk again about sin and forgiveness, and showing mercy.
I know Molly will lie again, I would be fooling myself if I thought this little incident has cured her of her own free will. Parenting is tough, like really tough, and as nice as it would be to pat myself on the back right now because my kid ended up doing the right thing, I am not going to. Okay, maybe one little pat, but after that it's back to crawling down in the trenches again. Because if parenting has taught me one thing, it's that the next battle is around the corner.