There’s been a lot in the media lately regarding young children being left unattended in hot vehicles, many ending tragically. As always, these stories are are met with an onslaught of individuals who are quick to judge, ridicule, and condemn the parents. I suppose if it’s never happened to you, it’s easy to wonder how someone could possibly forget their child, but to assume that they did it on purpose because they couldn’t “handle” their child anymore, to say that they are undeserving to have children at all, or even wish death on the parents is what I don’t understand. I’ve seen the comments in my newsfeed and on the news sites, and I have to tell you that they are very upsetting to me. I can say that because I have forgotten my child was in the car. Surprised? Let me tell you how it happened.
Raphael, an angel of the Lord disguised as a mortal, walked amongst the earth. He knew not the plans the Lord had for him, but ventured on with faith in his heart.
After miles of travel, a light as bright as the sun flashed across the sky. Startled, Raphael blinked, turning his head away from its radiance. Suddenly he felt as if a rope had been tied around him, pulling him in the direction of this lights source.
“I shall go,” Raphael said aloud, obeying the pull from the Holy Spirit.
As he drew closer to the glow, Raphael passed rows and rows of houses. Cars drove down the streets, children gleefully played in yards, and life all around seemed blissfully comfortable. But nothing in this neighborhood caught Raphael’s attention like the beauty of this foreign light which beckoned him. Like a crystal shimmering in the sun’s rays, Raphael followed it until he came to a house, and there was no doubt in his mind that this was where he was supposed to be.
Olivia was on Club Penguin earlier today and, because of the chat feature, I always make sure to supervise her. Her penguin was sitting around a campfire with several other penguins, and she made the bold statement to her penguin peers, “Do you want to hear a ghost story?” The few that responded said, “Yes.”
She looked at me in shock, as if she wasn’t expecting that answer. “Mom,” she said, “Will you just type what I say, since you type so fast?”
That was her request, anyway. She handed the laptop to me and I waited to type her story, but nothing came out of her mouth. She just sat there with a severe case of penguin chatter’s block. “Come on,” I said. “Tell me a story.” But still she sat in silence. I couldn’t just stand by while all those penguins waited for my daughter to come up with a story, right? I couldn’t let them think she was incapable; I had no choice, really. I had to save her.
I’ll admit I got a little carried away and my story was rather creepy, but it’s a Disney site and they’ve come up with some pretty creepy stories too. Who could blame me, really? I couldn’t look into those little penguin eyes and not deliver a good ghost story.
By the time I finished the story of the disintegrated, dead dog who tried to kill the little boy who had reassembled his bones, and the boy who was forced to destroy the dog skeleton by playing fetch, one-by-one with his bones, until there was eventually nothing left of him, there must have been 20 frightened little penguins who had all run to get their moms, and a message that said, “You have been banned forever” plastered in the middle of the computer screen. I’m not sure if it was my story, or the obvious fact that a lunatic adult was posing as a penguin and terrifying all these innocent penguin children that got us banned, but I knew I was in trouble.
I turned to Olivia and waited for the inevitable tears to start flowing. Instead she shrugged her shoulders and said, “Do you have another email address so I can set up a new account? I’ll tell my own stories next time.” That’s my girl!
Sunday, October 13th, is my dad’s birthday. He lives in Panama and we’re in Texas, so sending gifts isn’t always easy or affordable. Those who know my dad have undoubtedly experienced his kind generosity in one way or another. My dad has done anything from helping resolve some technical/computer issue, to purchasing items for someone or some organization in need, to volunteering to teach English lessons, visiting the sick in the hospital, and much, much more.
Because it’s difficult to even know what gift to send my dad, much less attempt to get it there, the kids and I thought a great way to honor him on his birthday would be to act like him for a day. We didn’t do anything life-changing, didn’t donate a kidney or save a kitten from a burning building. But I hope that what we did do made a few people’s day a little brighter, and I hope they return the favor to someone else one day. The people we chose today were not needy, at least not in a way that we were aware of. They didn’t look hungry, or sick, or even as if they were poor or homeless. We chose to do something very small for five ordinary people and I tell you, we had an extraordinary time doing it.
I’m not sure why I selected the title above. Lack of creativity today, I suppose, but I’m sure this problem goes way back to even the 1st century. I mean, surely those people had children back then and surely those children were no less angelic than my own. (And by “angelic” I mean the equivalent of ten adorable little fingers scraping their nails down a chalkboard.)
So how do we teach our children to be kind to one another, to respect each other’s opinions, and love them even when we don’t like them?
My oldest son, Noah, was recently “hanging out” with a friend down the street. Around 8:00 p.m. I texted him that it was time to come home, and when he promptly texted back, “Yes ma’am,” I instantly knew something was up. There was no plea for another 30 minutes, nothing mentioned about not having homework, not even the typical non-response followed hours later by, “Sorry, mom! I left my phone in Max’s room, and we were downstairs…”
I prepared myself for the worst. Not because my son is a trouble-maker…in fact he’s just the opposite. Just last night my daughter, Lindsay, was telling Noah that she ran into an old friend of his from elementary school. This friend kept telling Lindsay, “You’re brother is a cool dude. He’s the reason I put down the cigarettes and gave up the idea to paint the neighbor’s car pink.” He went on to say that Noah is always the voice of reason, telling the kids to re-think their crazy ideas. However Noah is a 14 year-old boy and all 14 year-old boys eventually find trouble. There was an incident with the police several months ago while my husband was on a business trip across the country. It was nothing big, just a case of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time.