This weekend was stacked full of trials. But I believe that it is because of my preparation that God has presented these challenges for me
Greetings friends and neighbors!!
Well that was a crazy weekend for me!! I was a solo parent for the first time in awhile. Keri made plans with a group of girls to attend Time Out For Women in Overland Park, Kansas several months ago. What we didn’t know at the time is that she would be leaving me solo for both Levi’s Friday night football game and the other 3 kids’ soccer games on Saturday. In line with my new found sense of personal responsibility, (and a hefty dose of ignorance) I encouraged Keri to keep her plans for this trip and I would handle the weekend by myself.
Keri left at noon on Friday, leaving me to pick the kids up from school, get them fed, and Levi back to the locker room by 5. After we accomplished all of this, the 3 boys and I decided that we would head to the city park to kill some time before the game. It’s a 40 minute round trip to our house and back to town, so returning home was out of the question. Besides, what could go wrong at the park??
It started out well enough. The boys all played on the playground equipment. Carter and Cooper took turns trying to launch one another from the see-saw. Boone played on the swings. I tried to sit and relax a little, because I knew a night of watching football and trying to keep up with kids by myself was sure to be stressful. Well I was about to find out how stressful the night was to be!
I watched curiously as I saw Boone approach the monkey bars at the edge of the playground. Now I’m not talking about the baby monkey bars that are about 3 feet off the ground. I’m talking American Ninja Warrior, Tough Mudder level monkey bars. A good 8 feet off of the ground. I saw Boone, 6, head over and climb up the ladder to the monkey bars. Surely his 6 year old reality check will shift into gear and he will climb down off that ladder, right?
It’s worth a detour in this story to note that Keri and I have completely different parenting styles. Keri tends to employ the helicopter parenting technique. For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is when a parent “hovers overhead”, overseeing every aspect of their child’s life constantly… like a helicopter. In an effort to balance Keri’s tactical and concentrated form of parenting, I fancy myself more of a free range parent. “If you aren’t bleeding or vomiting, figure it out on your own.” “I bet you’ll only let that cow kick you once.” Much less involved.
So, as you could imagine, I wasn’t overly concerned with Boone as he climbed up the adult sized ladder. But then he stopped at the top and, because he’s my kid, I could see that look in his eyes that he was about to do something stupid. It was like one of those scenes in the movies when something catastrophic is about to happen. Everything seemed to go in slow motion. I got up from my seat at the playground and began to yell at Boone to get down from the ladder. As the words left my mouth, I saw Boone take a leap UPWARD!!! Like not an easy, light jump to the ground. He seemed to be wanting to propel himself into flight like a hawk or other predatory bird. Well, for those of you paying attention, he forgot to factor in that there was a ROW OF METAL MONKEY BARS above his head. So as soon as he began his launch, he cracked his head on said monkey bars. This changed his trajectory and caused him to land with his arm breaking his fall to the ground.
At first, I thought the kid had knocked himself out. When I realized he was still conscious, I said what pretty much every dad in America says in a time like this “Get up, you’re fine.” Boone looked at me with a face of shear terror. Even though I proclaimed it, I could tell he was not “fine.” Boone, being the youngest of four boys, is also probably our toughest kid. So I knew something was really wrong when he wouldn’t stop crying.
So I made a call to Nurse Mom, trying to enjoy her trip. I’d had the kids by myself for less than 2 hours and already one of them was injured. Great start! Well through pictures and face time calls (besides Keri, there were two other nurses on the trip as well as an orthopedic PA’s wife), we ascertained that I needed to take Boone to the ER.
We get to the ER on FRIDAY THE 13TH ON A FULL MOON!!!!! First thing I see when I walk into the waiting room is a bald guy with not one, but two tatoos on his head. One of them was across the back and read “SLAYER” and the other was “666” the mark of the beast on his forehead. I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come around the corner with a crew of cameramen because I was sure I was on “Punk’d.”
Thankfully we were in the waiting room for just a few minutes and we got to go back. We were back in X-Ray very soon and found out that it was a buckle fracture in his left radius. A common injury for kids Boone’s age. He will be in a cast for a few weeks and is expected to heal just fine.
So I told you that elaborate story to let you know that God is paying attention to us. I’ve been telling a few folks how thankful I am that this happened to me in 2019 and not 2014 or 2016. Because the Jason of those previous years would not have handled it so well. I’m a firm believer that God will give us the trials that we are ready for.
Ether 12:27 reads ” And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them .”
The Jason of years past was riddled with anxiety. He would have freaked out and scared his ailing child and his brothers in this same situation. He would have provoked Keri into coming home, even though she had no way to get home (the girls shared a passenger van for the trip). He would’ve made an already bad situation much worse.
However, I’ve spoken numerous times about my self improvement and how I’ve come to grips with my anxiety. I was able to heed to the words of the scriptures and humble myself before God. In turn, my weakness became a strength. Even though this was a stressful situation, I was able to handle it very well. We must realize that once we become stronger, we are to expect tougher trials.
As you could imagine, I was VERY happy to see Keri come home on Saturday night and take over as the nurturer and caretaker for our boys. It is a role that takes utmost love and compassion and I’m thankful that I have a wife who is so great at it! I realize that sometimes it takes a situation like this for me to truly realize how much she brings to our family!!
Thanks for taking the time to read about my crazy weekend.
Update on my podcast: I have officially submitted my first episode to iTunes and will hopefully be approved for distribution in the next week or so. So after that, I will be releasing an episode weekly! Thanks to all of you for the outstanding support in this project of mine!!!
Until the next time