Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mercy.


 Today jr. pooped in his underwear at church. He has been having little "accidents" like this for weeks now, pretty much every single day. I took him to the bathroom and while we were in there, I told him I was going to throw his (old, worn out) underwear in the trash.

"I don't want to carry poopy underwear around for the rest of church!" I told him. "It stinks! This is what happens when you poop in your underwear. You get consequences."

He was devastated. He couldn't handle it. "Don't throw my underwear away!" he cried desperately. "Then I won't have enough underwear!" (I couldn't tell him that if he didn't have enough, we'd buy him more, because that would kind of defeat the purpose of the whole thing.)

I just kept repeating myself and it turned into a stand-off. He begged me. He pled with me. He cried and cried, and blocked the door so I couldn't leave the bathroom stall.

Finally he looked up into my eyes with tears in his and said in the sweetest voice,"Please, Mommy? Don't throw them away. Please?"

At that moment, as I looked at my son, a word came to my head: mercy.

Look, I know what you're thinking. Is God really going to inspire you in a bathroom stall where the subject matter is a pair of soiled underwear? But yes, I really think He did.

I like to be tough on my kids when it comes to consequences; I want them to know I mean business. But I found myself silently walking out of the stall, rummaging through my diaper bag for a ziploc, and putting the underwear in it. Then I squatted down eye-level with my little boy and told him I wasn't going to throw them away.

The relief on his face was priceless. I could feel that I had done the right thing. And as we left the bathroom to return to the meeting, he kept repeating, "I love you Mom."

I thought about this experience a lot after that. I thought about how Heavenly Father must feel when I make the same mistake over and over and over again. How many times do I say I'm sorry only to do it again? And how many times do I deserve the full consequences of what I've done?

But the Savior steps in with the whispered word mercy and then takes my hand and lets me have another chance.


12 comments:

Brian, Emily, Charlie, and Lucy said...

I LOVE this, and needed this. You are a wonderful mom to recognize and follow such promptings. Thank you!

Ben and Summer said...

What the heck? This story about underwear made my cry. Well, I guess it's not really about underwear;) Thank you for this reminder, I'm sure I will need it in the next day or two. Love you guys!

Trent and Meg said...

Love :D Thanks so much for sharing :D

2DollarBill said...

What a beautiful reminder how things can happen at a simple moments notice, and in everyday life. Thanks for sharing.

Marie said...

ditto to what 'Ben and Summer' said. I seriously just started crying over a story about poopy underwear?! thank you for sharing this precious learning moment! Something I really needed to hear since I'm potty training my munchkin and she decides to poop in her underwear EVERY WEEK immediately after going potty when at church after sacrament meeting.

Camilla said...

Great post! And great job being the best mommy little Josh could have. I have a tendency to be a little hard-nosed myself in the moment, so this is a good reminder to me. Love that boy!

Alicia Karoly said...

Beautifully written. Loved it. :)

Linda said...

Sounds like you are a very good listener, and not just to JJ. The world needs more Mothers like you!

Meredith Williams said...

Love this!

Steph said...

That is really really sweet! I love this little example, even though it might seem silly at first. Kids teach the greatest lessons. I can't wait to see what my kids teach me!

Lora said...

Thanks for sharing that. How true that is.

Dahlia said...

The parable of the Merciful messy underwear. I Love it!