Teaching them how to recognize, listen to, and obey that spirit is what I consider to be my most important responsibility as their mother. Heaven knows they need it in the tumultuous, crazy world in which we live--a world that starts, even in 2nd grade, to bombard our children with things we would never choose for them to hear or see.
My gentle, amazing reminder came this morning, and it went like this:
James: "Mom, the book we're reading in reading group already had four bad words in it. Two d words, one h word and. . .(dramatic pause) even the f word."
Me: (horrified, ready to call the school immediately) "What kind of book is this?!!"
James: "It's called Shilo. It's a western, mom, those guys didn't have any churches back then"
Not sure what to do, but ready to call someone and complain, I found out that James had already done the work for me.
James: "Don't worry, mom. I told my teacher we couldn't keep reading this book. There were just too many bad words. Three kids agreed with me, two kids wanted to keep reading."
Come to find out, after a little hesitation on the reading group teacher's part (her initial reaction? "oh, just keep reading") James kept insisting, and finally, "James you're right."
They were six chapters in, and there were nine more to go, but they stopped right away and are now reading a different book.
James: "Mom, it felt so good."
It was a small yet extremely significant moment in his and my life and I am grateful he shared it with me.