When we lived in Mississippi we were part of a small Calvary Chapel (first one in the state) that initially met in a day care. Our friends that visited this past weekend were also part of that church. They started coming when their fourth child (of 7) was just 4 weeks old. Anna, the oldest of their children, was five years old. After the service the kids would all go out to the playground while we parents talked and packed up all the church things.
One Sunday Anna came inside and informed me that Double Shot would not allow her to play on the monkey bars, that they were a boys club and girls were not allowed. I told her to go tell Double Shot that I said he had to let her play with them.
Anna always wanted to play with the boys. They didn't want her around because she told them what to do. For whatever reason, Double Shot, who is a year older than her, was the one that most commonly elicited her ire.
Moments later Anna came back inside and stomped right up to me with her eyes ablaze.
Anna: Miss Kelly! Double Shot won't let me play with the boys AND HE HIT ME!!!
Well... I went right on out there and pulled him to the side.
Me: Anna said you won't let her play and you hit her!
Double Shot: She tells us what to do! We don't want to play with her. This is a boys club. NO GIRLS ALLOWED!!!
Me: Oh NO! You are NOT to hit other kids, especially girls! You are going to have to tell her you are sorry and let her play with you.
Double Shot: I don't want to play with HER! And I'm NOT sorry and I WON'T tell her I'm sorry!!!
Me: I grabbed hold of his arm... Yes, you are going to tell her you are sorry and you are going to let her play with you.
Double Shot: he kicked dirt at me while wrenching himself from my grasp... I WON'T!!!
I didn't quite know what to do. Needless to say, Double Shot has always been a challenge. Anna was sitting a bit away from us on the merry-go-round watching and waiting. The other boys were playing and not paying any attention at all to what was happening. I decided this was going to have to be dealt with at home so I sent Double Shot to his father and went over to Anna.
Me: Anna, I am very sorry that Double Shot hit you. That is not okay. I'm not going to make him say he's sorry to you right now because he wouldn't mean it. I promise you though... when he does apologize, he is going to mean it.
Anna: Yes, well... if you don't discipline him now he will grow up to be a man who abuses women!
She was FIVE YEARS OLD. I was STUNNED and I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open. Double Shot did apologize to her the next time he saw her. They continued in their conflicts over the next several years. Anna, ever watchful and ready to point out any and all infractions and Double Shot ever resentful of her telling him what he should or should not be doing.
After I retold this story as we all sat around the table on Father's Day...
Double Shot: Anna, I want to officially apologize for hitting you eleven years ago and I want you to know I am NOT a woman abuser.
Anna: I officially accept your apology.
Oh my, did we all laugh!!!
Anna has been homeschooled her entire life and has been touring colleges. She's been to Africa twice. Once with her mother and sister and then last summer as part of a missionary team. She's thinking about studying criminology and becoming a lawyer. She mentioned that she might like to work with an organization like the International Justice Mission. I showed her the book I was reading about IJM... she hadn't seen it before and spent some of her time here going through it herself.
I am amazed by how consistent this girl has been throughout her life. She is driven... or being pushed along by the very hand of God. I've no doubt that she is going to be a champion for those who cannot stand for themselves.