The other day I thought it was funny to hear Owen's logic. He has noticed my tendency to be a bit more lax about the family diet on Saturdays. I allow them more sugary cereal in the morning and dessert is more available after meals, etc. So on Monday morning he approached me in the kitchen and said..."mommy, what if we didn't have any healthy food to eat." I started to answer but as I was forming a sentence he interrupted and said in all practicality..."I guess we couldn't eat until Saturday."
Aron must have picked up something he shouldn't have because I overheard Owen say to him..."Oh, Aron, this isn't abobriate for you."
This Owen quote came from the back of the van yesterday and I'm not sure what prompted his observation. I suspect it may have been a comment I may have made about him being loud and that it wasn't helpful to me. I say things like that.
"Mom, loud people can be helpful too. I saw some of those big kids, ya know, the ones that look like parents, and they were being loud. They were with their teacher and she dropped something and one of them picked it up for her. So, that's how I know that loud people can be helpful too."
On Tuesday (Election Day) Owen was curious as to what all the fuss was about. I explained that we were electing a new president for our country and he wanted to know who it would be. I explained who was running and decided to ask him who he thought it should be based on the issue I felt most people were really basing their votes on.
The economy is something I don't feel I have all the answers to, save a few basics we've strayed from, but I know I don't like the idea of redistribution of wealth and the idea that we are entitled to certain privileges and standards. I am a very blessed individual, I admit I have far more than I need, but I will not cower to anyone who says I do not have the right to do with it what I want. Even when I had little to nothing I voted the same way I did on Tuesday and if I lost everything I reserve the right to gain it back in the way I see fit.
So I posed the beliefs of the two candidates to Owen as unspun as I could. Carefully laying out Obama's ideals for sharing what we have by allowing the government to give to poor people some of the excess of the rich. I told him that Obama believes that everyone should have a nice house and a car and food on the table. So he would like to have all the people who have more than enough give it to the government to share with the people who don't have enough.
I then explained that McCain thinks that everyone should work hard for what they have, and if people want a nice house and a car and food on the table they should go out and work for it.
Before I could finish he quickly jumped in and said he wanted to vote for McCain. I asked him why and he said because we should work for our stuff.
I then challenged him by bringing up his cousin Grace. I mentioned that there are people who can't work. That there are people like Grace who's arms and legs won't let them get a job and earn their house. I asked him who should take care of her. He of course told me that her mom and dad should take care of her. I explained that Grace would be an adult some day and her mom and dad would get too old to help her...who should take care of her then? He said that her cousins should do it...and after thinking a moment questioned whether she had any other cousins. I had to laugh. He wants to help but knows enough that he doesn't want the full responsibility.
My favorite thing he said though was when he boiled it all down to faith. In talking about Grace he said "but mom, when Grace is an adult she won't need us to take care of her. She won't be in a wheelchair anymore by then."
See...even good cousins and moms and dads aren't the answer. It isn't just good people left to do the good. It's the author of good, the God who made us, who won't allow the lilies of the field to go under dressed or the sparrow to fall unseen. God is our source, and He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). If we don't have faith in that kind of God...it is hard to look at a failing economy and not cling to the words of a charismatic man with promises of a chicken in every pot. We need to do so much more than vote...we need to promote the truth. If we can bring change in the hearts of people, then change in the economy and everything else will follow.
My 5 year old gets it.
I know he thinks I'm terrible right now. I made him go to bed without lunch.
I felt mean and terrible and I second guessed it all they way to his bedroom. Hoping I would have an out to this horrible punishment I was about to dish. But nothing rescued me...not even a glimmer of apology was there to open the window for me to send him back to the table. It was sheer outrage and an offended little creature that met my eyes when I got to his room. The same reaction I had received downstairs when I first dolled out the sentence was repeated again. "I don't want to! I don't want to!"
I explained as calmly as I could the reason we were doing this and though he did not express any acknowledgment, I know he realized his mistake.
Each day when I pick him up from school at noon I have already made his lunch and have it waiting so that there is no time wasted upon our arrival home. He does not have to go hungry for a moment and I know what he wants everyday. Peanut Butter and Jelly are the favorite and I usually have it on a plate, covered in Saran wrap either in the fridge or at his seat at the table. Today, I made a special effort and cut the sandwich in the shape of a football. This is something he often asks for and I rarely take the time to do. You would think I would get a "thank you," maybe even a "Wow, mom!" instead his first words were..."Why did you cut it in a football?" Followed by, "I didn't want this...I wanted mine folded." When I offered him milk he said, "I want juice." None of this is too harsh until you add it to the numerous times he's had similar reactions and join it with the warnings I've given on being grateful for what he's given. Almost every meal is unsatisfactory in some way. I started to explain to him why I had given him his sandwich the way it was but quickly changed directions and in my most unemotional tone I said, "take your dirty socks off and put them in the laundry room and then go upstairs to your bedroom." He took the socks off warily but was not yet convinced that I was actually sending him upstairs without lunch. He moved slowly and I ordered his removal again. The outburst followed and bitterly he obeyed.
He is asleep now. He will wake up hungry I am sure but I hope he also wakes up with a confidence that there is a price for ungrateful behavior. As I told him before I covered him with his quilt...if he doesn't learn to be grateful, he will live a very unhappy life.
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