I witnessed something last night that not only shocked me but pulled on my heart so much that it's all I've been thinking about since it happened. Dave was running late as usual on Wednesday since it's his day to lock up the office. He arrived just in time to help me get coats on and load the little ones up in the van so we could head to church. The kids haven't been to Awana since before Christmas so they were all excited. We arrived a few minutes late so I asked Dave to get Alex and Dominic to their classes and I'd get the other two to the nursery. As Dave is walking off with the kids we hear all this screaming and at first I thought it was just some kids being loud and acting up walking with their parents to the car. Dave is slowing down when he sees them but gets in the door with the kids. Still standing with the kids in the van, I noticed it was our Children's Church Director and husband along with a dad hauling two boys out to their vehicle. One kiddo was up and over dad's shoulder and the other was being held by the arms and walked forward by the guy from our church.
I admit I'm a gawker, I was looking for Mia a binkie but couldn't help myself to feel awful for these two boys. They were screaming and crying, "I don't want to go home! I don't want to go home!!" The dad is screaming, "do we need to call the police!??! Buckle up!!! We're going home!!" The poor boys continue begging and screaming "please I don't want to go home!!! I don't want to go!" Seriously these kids sounded as if they were being tortured with cattle prod in the vehicle trying to claw their way out and nothing was going on except they were being told they had to leave.
Finally something I've never in my life experienced happened. This poor man broke down right there to the guy from our church. I heard him scream and cry "I can't take it anymore!!! You see what you guys do!?!?!?! I take you some place fun and you ruin it!!!" He wept like his wife had just died. It was the most heart wrenching thing I'd ever seen. He begged for them to stop, to be quiet, and for them to act normal! That's all he wanted! It was none of my business but I wanted to run over and help the guy with these boys. I've dealt with all sorts of kids in daycare and with my own and I wanted to see if I could calm them down but I had two babies with me. I continued standing there dumbfounded listening to this poor man.
"I just can't do this. Oh God I can't take this anymore!!!! Please help me, please help me!!! Oh God Please help me!!" I have never been around a man who cried like that and begged for help 10-15 times in a row. I was heart sick and in tears by the time I got inside. I'm not sure what happened after I went in the door. The Children's church director was getting ready to go back outside and she quietly asked, "are they still out there?" I responded yes and that I felt horrible and I want to just run off and cry myself. She was obviously shaken by the whole ordeal too. From what I gathered from her is that they never mind her at Awana and if they can't listen or respect anyone then there's no reason to be there and that's how it should be. We're there trying to teach God's Word and not to be run over by kids who could care less. I really feel that Awana to some parents is a babysitting service and you can just tell some just don't want to be there with the way they act.
I have so much sympathy for that man last night. His boys were probably I'm guessing 4 and 6. I'm not sure if there is a mom or if it's just a dad raising them but the dad needs help. Sending him on his way so upset probably wasn't the best thing and I pray that the boys screaming that they didn't want to go home was not because Dad might beat on them. That really had me worried especially with how overcome with the emotion the dad was. I just thought of how much stress those two boys must be putting on him for him just to breakdown like that. How hard and challenging these kids must be for him.
Parenting is stressful and challenging. I think a lot of people think I have everything so under control here. Although I've never broke down quite like this guy (at least not yet lol) I will say that I've been to points where I feel trapped and I just don't think I can go on. I think it can't get any worse than what it is, but then it does, and what do you do? You keep chugging on. The past few years dealing with our boys and all the different terms, conditions, and behaviors has really put me through a wringer. Somehow though we all deal as parents in different ways through therapy, deep breathing, or making time for ourselves. There's always somewhere to turn. I just hope that this man,whoever he was, has somewhere to go for help. I'm not sure what happened after I went inside if they offered to help him spiritually but he definitely needs someone right now. I really hope they offered him this calming verse which I think every parent should have memorized. lol "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls."