Eliza was temporarily dismissed from Primary on Sunday.
The movie they had been watching was of the Savior raising Lazarus from the dead. The sadness surrounding the loss of Lazarus proved too great. Eliza was a mess of tears as she was gently escorted into the hallway to compose herself. Andrew, who had been in the hall quieting Lottie, quickly noticed Eliza as she exited the Primary room. From my chair in Sunday School, I watch with curiosity as Andrew and Eliza's hallway exchange unfolds. Before I can verbalize my question, Andrew quietly whispers upon his return,
"They were watching a movie about Lazarus..." That's all he has to say. Instantly, I understand.
Lately, we've been fielding a lot of questions about death. Eliza's faith is strong as she understands that Jesus died for us. The teachings of the resurrection are familiar to her and I can see that she acknowledges that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He provided a plan for us to follow so that we can be together forever as a family. What she struggles with (and who doesn't) is the temporary separation that occurs when a loved one passes away.
Thursday night I went to Enrichment night. Coming home, Andrew reports that Eliza was in tears over the likelihood that I will die before she does.
"Nana Marie's Mom died before she did and so did Nanna Teresa's!" She sobbed. Parenthood challenges me to know and question what I really believe as I am determined to speak with confidence as I share with her the assurance and understanding I've acquired. I try my best to patiently respond after listening closely to her concerns but because of how fragile her feelings are, I don't go out of my way to bring up topics that are going to upset her as they seem to be evolving on their own. Example:
Driving home from my sister's house this week, we pass a cemetery.
"Hey Mom! What's that over there?" Eliza asks. My inner dialogue explodes.
"Here we go again! Awesome." Taking a deep breath, I think through what I should say. Thankfully, that conversation was void of tears.
Allow me to confess a parental failing as I totally shift gears to share another example of how this child operates. I have a weak spot for reality t.v. I absolutely love Survivor and most definitely say the Jeff Probst is the hostest with the mostest. Love him. I also have an unexplainable fondness for the awkwardness that is Chris Harrison and the Bachelor series. Usually, the children are in bed or are otherwise occupied when I catch up on my shows.
However, during the series finale of the Bachelorette, Eliza enters the room. I welcome her into my lap assuming that this episode would be free of bikinis and hot tub make out sessions. I didn't think that the intense Neil Lane heart to hearts would have a profound effect on her innocent mind. Together we watch as Ashley refuses Ben's heartfelt proposal. Ben proceeds to give his emotional exit interview and before I know it, Eliza is in shambles over the outcome.
"Why didn't she choose Ben!?" She cries. "Am I going to have to choose like Ashley? Talon and Luke BOTH want to marry me. What's going to happen?"
I encourage (**Bad Mom Award**) her to keep watching as I anticipate a happier outcome for J.P. I'm wrong in my assumption that she'll drop it. Her feelings of sadness for Ben win over the scene of the accepted proposal. Keep in mind, she hasn't seen a single episode before now. Her strange allegiance to Ben perplexes me. Her questions and concern wouldn't abate as she is now convinced that she needs to have a conversation with Ashley to discuss her thought process.
"Mom! Do you even know what state she lives in?" She is exasperated and I realize how closely we need to filter the things she watches as I assume her actions are a result of her young age. And then, I'm reminded of our experience with the Disney movie, Tangled. Maturity isn't the issue. It's how she is wired. Bless her.
It doesn't matter if it's the first, third or eighth time to see that movie. Without fail, she cries when it seems that all is lost for Flynn Rider. She knows that he'll be okay but her knowledge of the movie's outcome isn't enough to prevent the waterworks.
"I can't help it Mom! My eyes! They just want me to cry!" I've never criticized or shamed her for her sensitivity. That would be a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black. Yes, there are times when the circumstances that lead to those tears make Andrew and I chuckle, but overall I find it sweet. Her tender heart is one of her best attributes. Eliza is compassionate and thoughtful.
And before you start sending me recommendations on physician's who would willingly help "stabilize" her moods, I assure you she is fine. She is a confident, happy, intelligent, fun loving girl! Her social life has really exploded as of late. This past week, two new friends invited her to their birthday parties which completely thrilled her.Henry, on the other hand, was severely disappointed that he wasn't invited to either party. And so it continues. Learning to nurse your child's broken heart is another job requirement that I'm steadily gaining experience with. Heaven knows, there will be serious bumps in the road and I sincerely hope I'm adequately equipped to help them.
Leave it to me to blog about bible stories and the Bachelorette in the same post, but I want future Eliza to know that I'm touched by the size of her heart and its wide range of concern for others (from rejected bachelors to biblical figures).