Had a "difficult" day yesterday with a kid who wants to be "treated like an adult" (but without all/any of the responsibilities). This child risked his own life by telling Brandon and I when we can and cannot speak to him, and I prayed to Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit and all the heavenly beings to be a hedge of protection around him lest I end his earthly journey. I was telling my Be the Bridge group about this last night, and my girlfriend told me the greatest story. Apparently her 11-year-old also wanted to be a grown up this week and, in fact, not only did he treat his siblings like despised underlings, but when asked what he wanted, he said: "I want the authority to be in charge of them and tell them what to do, because they deserve it!" Well. My girlfriend and her husband are NOT AT ALL MESSING AROUND with parenting. Calmly, evenly, they granted his request to be a grown-up for a week by pulling him out of camp (the underlings still got to go, because they are "such children") and sending him to work ALL DAY EVERY DAY with his dad. He has to get up early and shower and make breakfast for everyone. He has to kiss the underlings before he goes to work and tell them to have a great day and that he loves them. He has to work on a typing project during his office hours. He only gets to eat what his dad eats, because eating like a grown-up is not nearly as fun as eating like a kid. Want to be an adult? Fine. I cannot tell you how much this story brought me joy. There is definitely a time in parenting to respond with grace and second-chances and tenderness. And sometimes there is a time to CALL YOUR KID'S BLUFF and send him to an office job for 40 hours a week instead of camp. RESPECT. Our other girlfriend piped in with how her mom would leave her and her brother at the store if they wandered off LIKE SHE TOLD THEM NOT TO, and they had to wait outside at the curb in the Houston sun until she decided to come back for them. (She was basically hiding in the corner of the parking lot watching, but still.) Our other girlfriend told us how she yelled at her dad for being 15 minutes late to pick her up from her internship once at the capitol when she was 18, and he calmly said, "You are so right. That was an inconvenience for you. You should not have to wait for me as I leave my job early to pick you up in downtown traffic. So now you will ride the public bus home for the remainder of your internship and you will never have to wait for me again." Wailing, she rode the city bus home for the next month even though her dad beat her home every day. I died. Gals, did your parents ever call your bluff?? Or did you pull a MAMA DON'T PLAY with your kid? Tell us.
The pop up protests at airports around the US demanding entry for refugees is encouraging me more today than the American church.