June 4th rolled around and I had had it! I was sick and tired of the demanding cries of video game time, iPad time, app purchases and minecraft. I was already sick of hearing how hot it was and how difficult the simple tasks were to complete. Yes, I'd say it's time for us to enter my kind of summer...... the summer where we ran bare foot on an oil top road, road our bikes to the wagon wheels, mowed the whole lawn with a push mower and drank from the water hose (good minerals and bacteria in there I'm sure).
A lot of you have a variation of "your summer" and I've noticed that from generation to generation the idea of living life has morphed into a plethora of technology and very little practical experience. I became aware of just how jaded our sense of raising children had become when my husband said to me "they shouldn't go to the creek, there are snakes down there"..... Seriously? Oh wait they are probably the same ol' snakes that I was wading through the creek with a meager 20 years ago! (holy cow am I that old?) Leave it to me to have a warped sense of humor about the "scary" snakes..... Now I'm not advocated total stupidity my boys will acquire that naturally at about 14 but rather I'm talking about kicking of the training wheel and the "electronic guides" and making a stab at living.
So far my plan has been a crazy success....... WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS SOONER... I've been waking the boys up and rushing them outside for their first activity of the day, weeding the garden. But they will soon learn that the days of mom acting as the alarm clock are going to come to a screeching end. After another week it will be their job to roll their happy butts out of bed and begin the morning routine.... I plan to wake earlier and enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch greeting the sunshine and preparing to watch my future men begin to come of age.
The Apostle Paul wrote this; When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11, NASB)
And the more I think about it right now the more thankful I am that I have come to this reality so quickly. What would my boys look like in 5 years without this revelation? You see I'm not saying that they are men right now but they are supposed to be becoming men. How will I teach them to put away childish things in a world where the men often act less responsible in word, action and behavior than many of the children? How will I teach them to embrace patience, honesty, respect, due diligence or sacrifice when they have never had to experience it for themselves?
Just a few days ago my boys took on the task of mowing my parents lawn (begrudgingly at first because it wasn't their idea...lol)..... I sent one of the boys down to our house to fetch the mower. Upon his return I promptly went out to the yard and demonstrated ( not told them how, not told them what to do, not instructions barked from the sidelines) I took the mower and demonstrated cranking then proceeded to cut a section of grass out as a sample. I then demonstrated how to continue cutting without leaving sections behind and proceeded to hand the responsibility to the boys, instructing them to take turns. It probably took a mere 5 mins before they were beating down the door for a break, a drink of water and a complaint but instead of a sweet mom greeting them at the door they met the Horrible Awful No Good Mother of 2015 who promptly disbanded the mutiny and sent them right back out to the lawn...... They tried this 3 times give or take a few until finally reality set in and I began to hear the steady hum of the mower and not a single voice coming from just outside the door.
About an hour in the mower fizzled out and I stepped outside to tell them they had just discovered that amazing sound when you actually run out of gas! I sent one of them back down to the house for the gas can. As my one son was walking across the lawn with the can my other son said "bring it here I've got this". I kind of chuckled and replied, "how exactly do you know how to put gas in the mower?" He replied matter of factly.... humph, I watch dad!
NEVER EVER EVER underestimate how closely
they are watching you when they aren't watching a screen!
I returned back inside figuring that whatever the outcome a worse case scenario would be spilled gasoline. Ironically what I heard was the start of the mower and a very loud and excited woooooooh whooooooo!!!! As he pushed the mower back towards the area they had been mowing it was in that moment that I knew that I was going to love being the HORRIBLE AWFUL NO GOOD MOM OF 2015 because there was no way a video game could teach my son the gratification of knowing what he can do in the real world.
So as yours go about their summer numbing take a minute and consider what they might be able to accomplish. Catch yourself when you start to say "that's too difficult for them" or "they're not big enough" good pete, LET THEM TRY. Show them once actually SHOW THEM and then LET THEM GO...... let them discover what does and doesn't work... don't take over when you think it's taking too long, don't shelter them from being uncomfortable or guard them from what will only make them stronger. For goodness sake start being a HORRIBLE AWFUL NO GOOD MOTHER and you'll find out that it produces ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND EXTREMELY CAPABLE YOUNG MEN!!!!