Joshua is my non-confrontational child. So much so that awhile back I was standing in the nursery after church talking to a friend. Josh was standing next to me. After my friend and I chatted for a few minutes and she walked away, Josh said to me, "Mommy, she was standing on my foot." Yes, THAT'S how unlikely he is to speak up for himself.
So, when he started school last week, my biggest concern was that he find his voice. It's unlike him to strike up a conversation with (or speak at all to) another child, and it's unheard of for him to do so with an adult. Seriously, even with adults he's known his whole life - even with my own sister-in-law - he's not very likely to voice a complaint when something is amiss.
On day one of school, he mentioned that the other kids all got 3 cookies (why they're having cookies, I do not know), but he got only 2. Didn't say anything to the teacher. (Claims he couldn't remember her name, but I know Josh - he knew her name.) Day two of school he tells me that all the other kid got a piece of green paper put in their backpacks, but he didn't get one. Didn't say anything to the teacher. (Turns out this was a misunderstanding; she was taking OUT green folders, and I had sent Josh's the day before.) So, last week when my mom was meeting with her wonderful group of prayer partners (with whom she has met to pray for her kids (and now grandkids) almost every week since I was FOURTEEN!), I had one request: that Joshua find the courage to speak. To other kids and to his teacher.
Talk about an answered prayer. On the way home from school yesterday, Josh mentioned that he had a substitute teacher and that when he arrived at school, they had been watching Snow White. This is what Josh said to me: "Mommy, they were watching Snow White, and on one part a lady turned into a witch, so I told the teacher that I wasn't allowed to watch things with witches, and he fast-forwarded past that part." I thought I could not have been more proud, but actually at that point I didn't know it was a sub, so when I found out it wasn't even a teacher he knew, my pride grew even more.
I realize such a thing would be nothing big for most kids his age; most of my friends' kids talk to me without hesitation. But, for Josh, this is HUGE. So, thank you, God, for answering my prayer and for graciously letting me see the evidence of it so very quickly.
(By the way, I feel the need to add that my rule against witches is not hard and fast. He's seen The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (the cartoon version), he watches The Frog Prince (a Muppets classic), which has a witch in it, and he's probably seen a few others. But, as a general rule, I don't like my kids watching things about evil at their ages, and while Disney movies would strike most as pretty benign, I like to decide whether it's a witch I'm okay with or not. That's for me to decide, not a school.)