Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weaknesses and a 12 Year Old

Ethan is turning 12 tomorrow. I've been able to spend a lot of time with him this weekend. It's his normal weekend with his dad, but he decided he wanted his birthday party on Friday so he stayed home with me. Friday night was spend with too many boys in my house. (I apologize to my neighbors!!) And Saturday was spent recovering. Ethan and I literally spent most of the day sleeping. Saturday night we went out to dinner with Eric and Aiyana and Seth and then I treated everyone to a movie. Today we've just vegged. Ethan and I both had an appointment with our bishop, which was good for both of us. He's going to be ordained in June. Wow. Time just flies.

The best part is we've been able to talk. And for a 12 year old, Ethan has asked some very interesting questions. For one, he's asked why we have weaknesses. I've thought a lot about that. I told him that we have to have weaknesses so we can appreciate our strengths. I told him that our life is a test, like a math test, and we have to work really hard on the problems we're not so good at. He commented that sometimes when we work on our weaknesses, we just make them worse. I told him I know exactly what he's talking about. But we just have to keep working. We can't keep doing what we've been doing, we have to change our actions if we're to get different consequences.

I always think of a story that President Hinckley told. After his wife died, he said that there were times that his sadness got to be so much that he'd take off his shoes and lay down. But eventually he'd get up and put his shoes back on and go back to work. What good does it do to just lie down? I think that applies to our weaknesses. I try to laugh at mine but sometimes I don't always try to fix them. And sometimes instead of working up the courage to just take the bull by the horns, I hide. I let my depression or fear dictate what I do.

Recently, I've let a situation spiral out of control. I've let a situation get worse instead of working hard to make it better. I've taken the wimp's way out and communicated with someone through email instead of face to face. Let me tell you right now, email is not the way to communicate with someone when you're trying to convey who you are. It's a lazy way to do anything. But, I convinced myself I had too much going on, I had too much pain, disappointment and worry that I just couldn't deal with this situation face to face. And now, it's all I can think about because I screwed it up. I didn't mean to, but I did.

So, I've got to put my shoes back on and get back to work. Not just with this particular situation but with so many others in my life.

Let me say this about my son. Ethan is an amazing kid. I wish people could see what we see. He's very shy and doesn't like to open up to people. His teacher says that he's really quiet at school. He's struggled with his temper. I'm not condoning it and we've taken appropriate steps to help him learn to control his anger and channel it in appropriate ways. Ethan is a good brother, a good son, a good friend, a good student, and just a good kid. I wish people would let him change and shake his mistakes. Those who truly love him have done that.

Happy Birthday to my baby. And thanks to him for helping learn an important lesson today.