Yesterday marked the third day that Caleb and Eli have been out of school. For the life of me, I never remember having so many holidays and work days when I went to school. The boys missed last Friday, which was supposed to have been an early release day, due to snow, then Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Tuesday and Wednesday were teacher work days. They ended up having to go back to school half a day on Wednesday to make up for Friday’s snow day. Let me just tell you, Eli Riggins was TICKED about it. Hey buddy, I didn’t even get MLK Day off so you get no sympathy from me!
Because it’s against every fiber of Caleb Riggins’ being to stay at home, he has been on the go since last Thursday when school let out. You’d think gas was $1.00 a gallon…but of course we all know it’s NOT. Right now, Caleb doesn’t have a job and we are the fillers of his gas tank. We have very sternly advised Caleb to watch how he uses his gas because we will only fill up his truck so many times a month. And he has learned just how many fumes he can run on from filling to filling.
Now, in Caleb’s defense, he gets it honest…from me. I was never one to want to stay at home – had to be going ALL THE TIME. I can remember on Sundays at church as a little girl asking to go home with a friend for the afternoon and if I was told it wasn’t a good day to come over, I was off to find someone else who might take me home with them. If everyone with children had left and I still had no where to go, I would start looking for old people to take me home with them. I’m sure parents could see me coming a mile away and probably told their daughters on the way to church, “When Robin Allman asks to come over today the answer is no…”
Bless my heart.
Now, regarding Caleb, Steve & I don’t mind putting gas in his truck for now, but here’s the thing; we would really like for him to at least show some gratitude for it. Is that too much to ask?? I think not when it costs $50.00+ to fill up his truck! Sadly, it seems the term “gratitude” doesn’t enter many teenagers’ vocabularies until much later in life.
Yesterday, Caleb called me to say that he needed gas. Now, he knows before he calls me what my answer will be: “Call your father.” Steve knows when it’s time to fill up the truck and I’m not getting in hot water with daddy for breaking the rules. Especially after Caleb’s been warned all weekend to be careful how he uses his gas. He called his dad and Steve told him that he would fill up his truck that evening, but not before. Ugh…that meant Caleb had to STAY HOME?!?!?!? How completely unfair of us.
Later that morning, I realized that I had forgotten to get my supper started before I left and I was not going to be unable to go home from work at lunch to do so. But I had a bright idea…I would call Caleb and ask him to start it for me! You know, I truly thought he would jump at the chance. It wasn’t that long ago that he used to love to get in the kitchen and cook! Well, like when he was five….but not much has changed since then, right??
“Hey buddy, I need for you to put on my BBQ chicken for supper tonight.”
Caleb – “Oh my gosh…….Moooooom….”
Me – “All you have to do is put the chicken in the slow cooker. I’ll tell you how to do it.”
Caleb – “Slow cooker? Chicken? Ughhhhhhh. Where is it?”
Me – “The chicken is in the freezer and the slow cooker is-”
Caleb – “Mom, can’t Mamaw come do it? I’VE GOT THINGS TO DO.”
No he did not. I could feel a fury coming over me that was not becoming for the one whose title is “Coordinator of the WELCOME CENTER”, so I told him very bluntly to JUST FORGET IT and I hung up the phone.
How is it that my child could see all that I do for him and have done for him and still refuse to graciously and thankfully do what I ask him to do???
You know, I hate it when this happens, but quietly, yet quite effectively, the Lord began to whisper to my heart, “Yea…how about you tell Me the answer to that one.” OUCH. How often have I been guilty, on a much larger scale, of the very same thing?
I got back in touch with Caleb, who had also had a change of heart regarding his need to help, and told him I would email instructions for starting dinner and how much I so appreciated him for doing this for me.
I emailed the instructions for starting the BBQ chicken (including “WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP”) and, just for the pure adventure of it, I also emailed him instructions for starting a crock pot of pinto beans. Turns out, Caleb got the chicken going and Eli handled the pintos.
Let me just say that dinner last night was AMAZING. For real.
During dinner, Eli kept saying, “So, how are the pintos? Are they good? Did I do it just right? I aimed the knob at high just like you said.” Caleb just ate in quiet satisfaction, watching as his dad went back for seconds of both.
Thanks for Your lessons, Lord…even when they stomp my toes.