Do you use a sponge in your kitchen? They can be useful to absorb spills or to wash dishes. Sometimes though, they can pick up bacteria and that's not a good thing.
When a child comes to me in tears, it usually it means they got hurt, either on their own or with the aid of a sibling. (I'm not proud of the sibling squabbling, but sometimes it happens.)
Last night, *E* burst into tears and asked to be excused from the dinner table. "What happened?!" I asked. "Did you bite your tongue?!" He just shook his head no and kept sobbing, big tears rolling down his cheeks. I brought him up to my room and shut the door, snuggled him close, rubbed his back and waited for him to be ready to tell me what had made him so very upset. "It's hard to say," he said. Now, let me tell you my heart just about sank to my toes and my mind went to some dark places.
"I'm worried that there will be poison gas and Miss M will die while she's a baby." Okay, now I was baffled. "Did your brothers say something about poison gas? Where did you hear about that?" Still tearful, he said, "At school." What?! Apparently he saw a movie about environmental problems and they said something about poison gas and he has been thinking about it and worrying about it for months. Poor little man.
I reassured him that we lived in a safe place and that daddy and I would do everything we can to keep he and his siblings safe. This little guy was so very worried about his baby sister, it was heart wrenching. He got worried about it again today and started to cry and the Husband snuggled up with him on the couch and talked to him, reassured him too.
I love that my kids can be sensitive and I remember being worried about things I saw or heard as a child. It just goes to show we never know what will impact a child or how they will respond, or even when.
Kids are sponges. They are getting information from us, from their siblings, from television and movies and whatever they are exposed to. While the intent of the movie *E* saw was to educate him about taking care of the environment, he became frightened about worst case scenarios and how they could impact his beloved baby sister. Kids overhear parts of conversations and misunderstand. OR....they could sit in worship on Sunday and hear the pastor preach on a loving, forgiving God (even while doing a word search) and soak that up too. They can hear us pray, or say "I love you" or "Thank you" or "how can I help?" and know that it is good to pray and use manners and care about others.
Kids are sponges that soak up good and bad, happy and ugly. My job as a mom is to keep checking on the sponge, making sure it doesn't have "bacteria" that could harm them growing unchecked. I am so thankful to have other "bacteria fighters" on my team; the Husband, friends, our Pastor and lots of other trusted adults that know and love and care about their well-being. But, the biggest "anti-bacterial" of all is God who loves and protects, heals and cleanses even in the midst of all the yuck that a sponge can pick up.