Parenting With a Heavy Heart

My heart is so heavy tonight and I just cannot seem to get past the emotions I am feeling. I tried to sleep but my tears won’t stop flowing and and the gut wrenching emotional pain is not letting up.

My 6 year old is the kind of boy I want with all of my heart to raise. He is the kid who when he pulls an opponents flag in flag football, he picks it up off the ground and hands it to the person he “tackled”. If one of his classmates forgets to bring an afternoon snack to school, he shares his snack with them. When his classmates are spending their reward tickets in their school store and one of them is short a bit of being able to get what they want, Jacob offers up some of his tickets to them. He is a kind and gentle boy with such a warm heart and I love him dearly for that. 

We had parent teacher conferences this week and it came to no surprise to us when Jacob’s teacher shared with us how quiet and shy he is in class. He is succeeding in all of the academic areas… reading beyond where he needs to be, scoring high in math, etc. He is, however, painfully shy at school. His Kindergarten teacher brought this to our attention last year and we knew before then that he was shy around adults. He is such a rule follower at school and does not want to take any chances with getting into trouble. At home and with our neighbors and family, we see a different boy. A boy who is outgoing, who laughs a lot and who likes being right there in the middle of the action. It is sometimes hard for me to believe that the boy the teachers talk about and the boy at home are even the same child. Jacob does love school, which I am so happy about. When we are out of school on breaks, he is often anxiously counting down the days until he gets to go back.

When we asked Jacob’s teacher about his friends and recess, she said “Jacob is such a nice kid. At recess he is what I would call kind of a tag-a-long… he isn’t aggressive like the other boys, but he always tries to fit in and do things with the other students.” The concerned mom in me said, “He is playing with other kids though, right? He isn’t a loner playing off in a corner by himself, is he?” She assured us he wasn’t and that he just wasn’t as aggressive about getting into the center of things as some of the other boys.

Today out of the blue I decided to ask Jacob this question… “Jacob, are you ever lonely at school?”. His response shocked me as he has never let on to feeling alone at school. “All the time. I am lonely every single day at both of my recesses. Some of the kids are mean to me and I hate going to recess.” I tried to get more out of him… he named a few names and indicated that part of it was because he isn’t any good at kickball, which is apparently has taken over tag, which was the popular thing to play at the beginning of the school year. My.Heart.Broke. Right then in there, I wanted to snatch him up in my arms and shelter him from this world we live in. I wanted to put a magic shield around him so that he never had to feel alone again. I wanted him to know that someday…hopefully soon… his kindness and warm heart will matter so much more to the world than his ability to play kickball. 

It is official…I hate recess now too. You can bet that each and every day, during those two periods in the day, my heart will be breaking all over again for my sweet boy and I will hope and pray that he is finding his way and is not feeling lonely.

Why does parenting have to leave us feeling so raw? I am certain that the pain he feels, I feel ten fold. I can only hope that he does not feel it as strong as I am feeling it. 

I know that this isn’t my family blog and I typically reserve this type of post for that blog, but for now they are being combined until my mojo returns! I appreciate you listening… I feel better having had the opportunity to get my thoughts out there.

With that, I will leave you with a recipe. A recipe that is so simple… I could only wish that life were the same.

Garlic Shrimp Pasta (from Recipezaar)


30 min | 10 min prep


  1. Boil pasta in water till tender, save 1 cup of pasta water for use later. I always put some oil, salt, and fresh herbs in with my pasta when I boil it. Drain and set aside when done.
  2. While pasta is boiling, wash shrimp.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat. Add shrimp.
  4. Let cook till a little pink and starting to curl. Then add garlic.
  5. Cook 5-7 min., add oil. Continue to stir till shrimp is pink and curled.
  6. Add pasta to skillet. Add seasonings. Add just enough saved pasta water till it is not dry but not swimming in liquid either. Depending on amount of pasta this requires 1/2 the cup or all of it. Start with adding 1/4 of it then work up from there.
  7. Keep tossing all ingredients around in skillet till all is incorporated and hot. Enjoy!

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  1. says

    My heart goes out to you and Jacob. Children are such a blessing but along with that blessing comes great vulnerability. Hang in there and be his advocate. Things change quickly and hopefully those changes will be for the better.

    Lisas last blog post..Halloween Vampire Bat Cake

  2. Laura Harvey says

    Whats everyone doing for safety precautions for Halloween? My husband came across an article ( with some info about background checking neighbors. I thought that may be a little overboard, but it had some other good suggestions for some precautions I haven’t thought about. Last year my youngest son came down with a massive fever after Halloween. I almost thought about just taking the kids to our church’s fall festival this year instead of door-to-door to prevent that from happening again. I don’t know yet. What’s your advice? Am I over-reacting or just being a concerned mom?

  3. says

    So many before me have left thoughtful and insightful suggestions I won’t reiterate any of them. I did though want to take a moment to tell you that I hope it works out for your sweet and loving little boy. I’m certain with the great mama bear he has in his corner all will be well.

    Take care.

    ingrids last blog post..Twins………again!

  4. says

    Have you considered home education?

    I’m not suggesting you remove him from the world. That’s not the point of home education.

    In the words of our fine new President, “yes, you can change” his environment and surround him with like minded children. There are THOUSANDS of home educated families out there raising awesome citizens like your Jacob.

    Home education nurtures the child’s desires to explore our world, grow real & lasting friendships, and learn to become a true, self educated, self motivated leaders.

    No one and nothing grows when left in the dark. Don’t depend on a system to truly educate Jacob. Drop kick the static & noise.

    God gave Jacob an awesome Mom & Dad to rear him. Step up and step out. Give Jacob the opportunities to grow with the gifts to which God has blessed him. Give him the life that fine tunes his mind & heart to be the servant leader he was born to be.

    Pray, ask God Himself, what way Jacob should go. God has BIG plans for him, and HE needs your parenting to get him there.

    Written with all my heart,

    p.s. I won’t debate pros & cons.

    The truth is the truth, regardless of who believes.

  5. says

    I know exactly what you are feeling. My son is the same way. He is now in 5th grade, but he still struggles. Luckily he goes to a small Catholic school and the children are pretty open minded. He does not have a real friend in his class. I want so much to fix it for him, but I cannot. The principal, a nun, is very good with him. She builds him up and he loves her. All the kids respect her.

    I just spoke to her last week about this (again). She has assured me that he will be fine and that some people just struggle with these things and they find their way. Hopefully it builds character, keep the conversation going. That is the best way for him to get into the habit of talking about it and keep your eyes open for depression.

    Best of Luck!

    Kristens last blog post..Herbed POPCORN

  6. says

    I completely understand. My oldest, 8, is a great kiddo and at the end of 2nd grade I found out she was walking around the playground crying!!! ugh! my heart broke.. why?? why was she so sad and being by herself?? it was all due to one little girl who bullied.. she still considers this little girl a friend.. boy. talk about turning the other cheek.. it killed me…
    she will learn… the hard way I am afraid… so sorry to hear your boy is so sad.. I will pray for him too.

    AnneMarieZs last blog post..Tips For An Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life

  7. Ashley says

    Hi. I just found this post while randomly wandering through food blogs, and felt I had to comment. Your description of Jacob’s experiences in elementary school sounds exactly like what I was like as a kid. I didn’t talk much, got picked on by some of the kids on the playground, cried because I didn’t fit in, and even had one of the teachers ask if I had “problems at home” because I was so quiet. But once I hit middleschool I started getting exposed to a wider pool of people, and started making friends. By highschool I had a pretty steady (albeit quiet) social life, and was perfectly happy on that front. And from what I hear, that’s pretty typical of the kids that are a little strange (strange in that awesome, geeky way I mean ;). So, hard as it is, it will almost certainly get better for him as he grows up. :)

  8. mamabella says

    I, too, sit here with a heavy heart after a night of holding my 8-year-old son while he cried. He is lonely on the playground due to his not being able to get his morning work done, he has to stay inside until he finishes it. By the time he goes out, everyone is paired up and playing. He is in his own child with his own ideas and thoughts about things and is content to entertain himself; however, he is heartbroken at being alone all of the time. He plays basketball and baseball. He is an only child – much to my heartbreak. When I ask if he wants to have someone over, he normally just shrugs. He is a one-friend kind of kid and if that friend is out or playing with someone else he is lost. I am glad to see that I am not the only one whose heart breaks at the loneliness of their child.


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