“I’m a Big, Brave Boy”

My grandson, Joshua, will be six years old next month, and is in kindergarten. While he’s one of the smartest in his class—just ask me, I’ll tell ya—he never attended preschool. As is the way in our family, we teach kids while we play, so they learn and have fun.

It’s not really something we set out to do, it just kind of happens.

“Here, catch the ball. You know what color this is? This is BLUE.”

We just sort of do it, unconsciously.

I tell you this because recently starting kindergarten is just one of the grand “life changes” he’s going through. Right now his mom and dad are separated, giving each other time to work on themselves. My son-in-law, Josh, will tell you he has severe anxiety, and that he recently relapsed. This isn’t a secret, he’s said it on social media.

He also said, “I don’t want anyone raggin’ on my wife. This is MY doing, and I’m working on myself. I won’t tolerate anybody talking bad about her.”

I greatly admire him for that, and he knows we’re rooting for him. We’re praying for him. We believe in him.

In the meantime, my grandson, “Little Josh,” or “Joshy,” is having a hard time. We all do our best to help the kids, but anytime someone upsets the mom/dad dynamic of a home, it’s naturally hard on the children.

My daughter, Jessica, is an Oncology Nurse and works overnights. Big Josh is great at taking the kids when she has to work, but as is natural, the kids miss their mama. A couple nights ago Josh took both kids as Jess was leaving for work, and it was almost too much for Little Josh to take. He was fighting back tears SO hard, God bless him, but a couple still fell.

My wife and I both hugged him before they left, and then I bent down on one knee and started trying to encourage him.

“Hey buddy, we love you SO much! When you start getting scared, just say to yourself, ‘I’m a big, brave boy.’”

He very quietly repeated, “I’m a big, brave boy.”

I curled up my lip and said, “Now SNEER when you say it!”

He gave his best sneer, sorta chuckled, and said, “I’m a big, brave boy.”

I smiled and said, “Now clench your first and say it with POWER!”

He balled up his little fist and said loudly, “I’m a big, brave boy!”

I know that’s not a permanent fix, but we are ALL there for Joshy when he gets scared. We help him from one instance to another. Sometimes my son-in-law picks him up and takes him out to eat and to the park for a “dad/son” day. Other times Jess and he go out for a “mommy/son date.” When at home, my son will many times take Joshy into his room and they play video games together. My wife will get him a Happy Meal from McDonald’s or put on his favorite TV show (usually “Henry Danger”) some days, while on others, I take him to the back yard and let him run and play.

Big brave boy cartoon

Joshy is the one in the middle of this picture, taken at Universal Studios, Orlando.

He knows we’re always there for him. The matter of the “help” varies from one instance to another, but always comes nonetheless.

I understand fear, as I’m sure you do, but would like to tell you that you’re not alone.

God has sent you help multiple times, whether by word of a friend, your favorite movie or a loved one texting, just to say they love you.

You’re braver than you know. Courage is one of those odd things we can’t really measure until we need it. And you have it in spades.

I’d like to offer the following verses to encourage you in times of fear:

When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone. In God—whose word I praise—in God I place my trust. I shall not let fear come in, for what can measly men do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4)”

“Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)”

 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)”

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; he protects me from danger—whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1)”

“For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.  (2 Timothy 1:7)”

“There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. (1 John 4:18)”

“David also said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and brave. Get to work. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope. The Lord God is my God. He is with you. He won’t fail you. He won’t desert you until all the work for serving in the Lord’s temple is finished.’  (1 Chronicles 28:20)”

Blessings, my friend.

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