How a Bedtime Puppet Play Helped Restore My Faith in Me

How a Bedtime Puppet Play Saved My Day | Houston Moms Blog

Immediately after trekking home from school with all of his hiker-biker friends, he dashed into my room. He gave me a “Hi Mom.” I looked up from my computer to find my boy standing there. His hair was soaked with sweat and his face was full of hot heat from the blazing September sun {because Texas}. He smiled a toothless front-tooth smile like he always does, and extended his arms for a hug. We embraced and something felt different. His smile was there but it wasn’t the kind that he usually has. The kind that make his eyes rainbow. His voice was sweet, but it wasn’t his usual high pitched “excited-to-eat-a-snack-and-play-with-friends” tone. I closed down my screen and set my laptop aside. He needed me.

How was your day?

“How was your day?” I asked. It was the only prompt he needed. Instantly he began telling me that it was a hard day. He told me that he cried in P.E. class. It seemed odd that out of the whole day, he would cry in his best class. 

You see, if there were ever a kid that loved ALL physical education, it would be this kid. At seven years old he is the BEST athlete in our home of seven people. He naturally runs like Lewis, hits a ball like Babe, swims like Phelps, hoops like Harden. It’s insane, really. We laugh all the time when he accomplishes yet another feat, effortlessly. However, we no longer are surprised. It’s his gift. We all believe that if there is one person in our family likely to become famous, it’ll be him. 

So, I listened closer.

He told me that he cried in P.E. because he missed his mommy and that’s what he told the coach who so kindly helped him in this difficult time. She suggested that maybe he try to spend a little time with me when he got home and it might make him feel better. So sweet, really. I grabbed him and hugged him and kissed his sweaty face and told him that I would LOVE to spend time together. I then sent him to the kitchen for water and snack. Dehydration and hunger can easily enhance emotion, so I scarfed down a brownie and diet coke right beside him.

My mind started rolling. It just seemed odd. Of course he missed his mommy! Because duh that’s me! But really, other than to flatter myself or guilt myself for days because I can’t be at his beck and call every single waking second for the rest of my life, I knew better than to believe that “his missing me” was the sole reason behind his hard day. I’d have to dig a little more to get the deets.

The evening passed as any old regular busy school night. He got to play with friends and swim with his sister. He ate a super nutritious meal for dinner called PB&J sandwich with a side of fruity pebbles cereal. I didn’t make him shower that night, because he bathed in the pool. I promised him story and snuggle time as soon as he put on his pjs. He is trying a new pajama routine though, so slipping on clean underwear and calling it good totally counts. 

The Puppet Play

I met him upstairs, climbed under his blanket and wrapped his mountain of stuffed animals around my torso. He gave me his beaver puppet and told me I had to use it when I talked to him. I obliged. 

Beaver didn’t waste any time diving right into the heart of the matter. “How was your day, Lukas?” grinning ear to ear with his bucky two front teeth as if he had no idea that Lukas had a tough go at it. 

Lukas giggled and then mommy giggled. Beaver looked at us both really weird and patiently waited for an answer.

Lukas then bit his lip and said, “Science is hard”. He then vocalized his emotion better than most adults are able to when they are embarrassed or scared. “I don’t understand it. My teacher says stuff about science, and I don’t get it. It makes me confused. She told me to do my best and that it was ok. It made me feel sad. I don’t know like the words and what it means. I don’t know.”

As if the puppet himself were magically designed for this moment he instantly gave Lukas all the brilliant support and ideas that a good friend would. He told Lukas that he was so so sooo smart and that if he wanted, Beaver could help him with science every night. Beaver told him that his teacher would help him too, and that the reason he goes to school is to learn and of course he was a little confused, cause that’s how it works! How boring would it be if he went to school and his brain already knew everything!

Lukas loved that. He smiled and then hugged me, his mommy. He didn’t know that the hand and the voice and the heart which was puppeteering Beaver, actually felt like it was broken into a million little pieces. 

My Emotions

When I’m sad or scared in first emotion, I’ve conditioned myself over the years to use rage as a secondary emotion so quickly that it easily takes the face of what I’m really feeling down deep {I’m working on it, ok?!?!}. Rage feels more control, strong almost. Right away I wanted to shoot off an email to the school {teacher, counselor, principal} anyone who cold change policy and curriculum. How dare my innocent boy who holds the worlds record for the cutest and smartest and sweetest child on the planet come home from 2nd grade disheartened because his grade level science book is extremely over targeted for his age group! They push them too hard, I thought. It’s ludicrous, I ranted for the rest of the night. I even got my brilliant {no, for real she is} daughter on board with my thinking and felt even more validated with the idea of reaching out for change. I admittedly tried to wind my husband up. He didn’t respond like I wanted, so he ALSO was the enemy and would be hearing from my lawyer.  

Lord, help us. 

Actually, that’s exactly what I needed. I desperately needed to find my faith in this nonsense cycling within. I’m the one who needed questioning. 

Finding Faith in Myself

Where is your faith, girl? Where is the remembrance of how AMAZING every single teacher that’s ever touched your children’s lives, really is? Where is your belief in your sweet boy? Where is your HOPE that through your very own help and by staying in your lane, your kid can get everything he needs, even when it’s hard?

Where is the BELIEF in YOU?

Look how awesome you were through Beaver! Guess what? That freaking puppet was actually you. Everything about it and the message given, were the very BEST parts of who YOU are. You, Mommy, you saved the day…not, the silly beaver puppet. As cute as the puppet is, know that you are who your kid needs. You are working on it, and you, my friend, You Are AMAZING. 


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Sunny is a midwestern city girl from Kansas, who loves the *idea* of living on a big plot of flat land somewhere in the middle of nowhere...but, actually has no interest in maintaining that land, or milking her own cows, or raising her own food. So basically, that’s out. The only crop she’s ever grown is that of her own children, five of them to be exact:: Kenny {2004}, Matthew {2006}, Belle {2007}, Lukas {2011}, and Otis {2012}. She is married to her {sometimes} best friend, Matt. Sixteen+ years into the nonsense and she has decided to stick it out. Writing has always been her safe space, but she has also learned that medication, a good therapist and rage shopping help soothe the rough spots. She speaks her truth even when it’s hard, and has a deep desire to help other women find their own beauty in the chaos. She loves Houston and its diversity of music, sports, art, history and people. However, if she ever wins the lottery she would seriously think about living right on the beach in Maui, at least part-time. For more ridiculous mothering ideas, humor or to waste some time, follow her on Facebook @grabamoment, Instagram @becomingthemom or on becomingthemom.com.

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