May 06, 2013

Discovering Secrets

This morning I learned my two children were planning to make juice this afternoon.

Not just any juice: George Juice.

Thank you, PBS and the makers of Curious George...

I learned in a back-hand way that my kids intended to combine red fruits and veggies ("And try a piece of raw fish as the secret ingredient!" said my daughter) to copy the juice George makes in one episode.

I said, "Mmm-hmm." I asked if they knew how much the fruits/veggies cost. I asked if they knew what 'in season' meant. I asked if they were intending to pay the cost for the ingredients. Answers to all of these questions were "no". (Daughter told me at this point that SHE was only going to make pretend juice.)

The cost really isn't that bad for the ingredients, but my inner revolt is in the matter-of-fact assumption that I will just fall in line with what they've decided. Especially when that decision takes time, prep work (whole watermelon + juicer = bad juju) and energy. Not to mention clean-up. I wish George's juice wasn't red. It stains more than most colors.

Just as I start to simmer about their assumption and imposition on me, I remember a 2nd-grader telling her mom excitedly about the crafty valentines she was going to make for her classmates. I didn't ask my mom to make them, but I did have a Jeeves attitude about getting the supplies (as in, "Supplies of this sort by this afternoon, Jeeves!"). She got them for me. It wasn't until this past year that I realized how rude my attitude must have been--but she still got them for me.

Then I think of all the times I race down my path and feel irked that God isn't racing along with me. I expect him to foot the bill, arrange the details, and facilitate my ideas. There are times he says no, and times (so many times!) he gives me grace.

Parenting is often two aims in tension. Here, I don't want to fall in the ditch of always saying 'no' because it inconveniences me; I love and cherish my kids' confident trust that I am interested in what excites them. I also value their ready belief that I will help them and provide what's needed. At the same time, I don't want to fall in the opposite ditch and always fulfill each whim. I don't want to leave them blind to what their choices can cost others.

We probably will make the juice later today. My son pointed out we already have a few of the ingredients, and I do love experimenting with them as we learn different things. Abba God, please help me see when my listening turns to assuming you'll jump on board with me.

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