I picked Cayden up from school last week and as soon as he got in the car I knew something was up. You know how you can just read your kids and know somethings not right. I asked him if he was tired and he just glared out the window and said he was tired. I started driving home knowing I needed to ask more but thought I'd give him a few minutes. Finally as we were headed to the bank I asked him if something bad had happened at school that day. He shook his head and tears filled up in his eyes. I asked again looking at him in the rear view mirror and all he could do was shake his head because the tears started flowing.
My heart broke. What had happened to my baby that was upsetting him so much. I was ready to beat up whatever bully had called him four eyes or anything else. He could barely speak the words through his tears but he finally got it out and he said, “I got a yellow face today.” You see blue is the best, then green, then yellow and the worst is red. He is a steady green face kind of guy with a few blue faces thrown in there as well. Great kid. Loves to follow the rules and doesn't want to get in trouble.
I decided we needed to talk, so I pulled into the nearest parking lot put the car in park and told him to unbuckle and join me in the front seat. I held him and he cried and I told him a hundred times I was not mad at him and that it was okay.
I then began to ask what was wrong and he told me that he was at a center and he didn't know how to play a game and that is why he got a yellow face. I kept thinking gosh there has to be more to the story, because I don't think his teacher would give him a yellow face just because he didn't know how to play a game. Cayden just kept saying that was why and I pressed for more, but that's all he would give me. I let it go and we went home.
There was a part of me that wanted to email his teacher and ask her what she was thinking. I mean a yellow face b/c he didn't know how to play a game. I mean not very fair. Then I let go of my mommy emotions and realized that I trust his teacher and there was probably more to the story than I was getting. I decided to email her. I told her that we were behind her 100% and trusted her, but we needed more to the story so that we could reinforce her rules and talk to Cayden about it. She emailed me the next day and filled me in and of course there was more to the story. 🙂
The saddest part to this whole story is what happened on the way home from soccer practice that night. It was just Cayden and I and as soon as we pulled into the driveway at home our conversation went like this:
Cayden: Mom, I'm happy now.
Me: good, why are you happy now?
Cayden: I believe you. I have been thinking about what you said earlier and I think I believe you for real.
Me: What did I say?
Cayden: you said you weren't mad at me b/c of my yellow face.
Me: of course not, we all make mistakes.
Cayden: Well I believe you and know that you still like me even though I got a yellow face.
My heart sunk. He had been wondering how we were going to treat him after a yellow face. He is a pleaser and doesn't want us upset with him. I think this day we all learned something about each other. Cayden learned that no matter what he does his parents will always love him and like him. We learned that our son needs our approval and when he thinks he has lost it he is broken. I need to make sure he knows that our love is not based on works, but it is forever no matter what.
That dang yellow face brought up so many conversations that day about consequences, love, forgiveness, and so much more. I love little learning lessons with our kids. I guess this is what parenting is all about. Finding the small things and allowing them to bring up big lessons in our kids lives. Not only is our love unconditional for Cayden, so is God's. He loves him despite his yellow face in kindergarten!
I want a t-shirt that says “grace can cover over any yellow face”!!
so well put. im interested in the rest of the story based on the email…..just coming from the teacher and being “aunt staci”. I still dont think he deserved a yellow face 🙂
We went through this exact same thing with Grace in first grade. She always had good reports and one day she got a mark. You would’ve thought the world has just ended. There is defintely something to be said for sensitive, soft hearted children. I LOVE THEM!!! I wish more of the world was that way.
I’m with Staci! Dumb dumb teacher!
I wish Stevenson was upset when he got a yellow “light”… he has gotten 6 just this month!!! (more than all 4 of my big kids combined in all their years of elementary school).
He is going to practice keeping his “listening ears” on tomorrow at school… we will see how it goes 😉
He’s amazing. And so are you and Aaron. <3
ps- not gonna lie, when I first read the title, I thought your kid had jaundice. 🙂
I love reading about how you relate to your kids, Jamie. I hope that I am as good of a mom as you when I have kids!
Awww….my heart goes out to him, but I think it was a good learning moment for all 🙂 As a teacher I can tell you it breaks my heart when my steady green kids (green is our best color) get on yellow. And we have the talk about how everyone makes mistakes and I still love them but there are consequences for our actions. Discipline is tough.