Monday was a big day. I went to the gym and met with a trainer who helped me think through how to work out in my weakened state. I am not going to break any records or end up being one of those body builder types but I do hope to gain a little strength and stamina. We worked together for half an hour and by the end I was ready to head for home.
I had one of those interesting interactions in the parking lot. On my way out there was a young mother who was carrying a very upset young boy, maybe 3 or 4 years old. He was screaming and yelling and in general making a scene. She kept talking in quiet, measured tones, “when you can behave we will go swimming…not today, we will try again tomorrow.” Everything she said was met with a pretty impressive temper tantrum. I was across the parking lot, getting in my car when she apologized for the noise and disturbance. I laughed and walked across the lane to talk with her and said, “No need to apologize. You are simply being a good mother. Keep doing what you are doing. It is hard today but he will learn and when he is sixteen or seventeen he will be a very mature and well behaved child.” She stopped and just looked at me for a moment…then said, “thank you… this is so hard.” Again I laughed a little, the kind of laugh that says I know, I have been there…but it will get better. I spoke a few more words…”Yes it is, but you know it is right. You are the parent…be the parent. You are helping him learn about consequences for bad behavior…better he learns that now than when he is older. Keep doing what you know to be right…it will work out in the end.” She smiled, said thank you and turned her attention back to a very unhappy, yet growing and learning young boy. He is going to be the kind of young man who will be able to help us wrestle with some of our countries deeper issues some day…all because his mom would not let him go swimming one summer day because he could not behave. We need more moms and dads and a wider community to help raise up the next generation of leaders.
Joseph and I spent the rest of the day working around the house. We took a load of brush to the dump and prepared a second load to take away later in the week. We spent time power washing the deck so we can put a fresh coat of paint on it sometime later this week. Finally we worked on some of the drainage issues surrounding the house. It was a good day and I was glad to have Joseph around to do most of the heavy lifting. To celebrate our work we decided we would go out for dinner.
On another note…I have been thinking about the chaos and turmoil in our country these days. I have a thought, take it for what it is worth. It seems to me that one of our biggest problems is that we do not know how to talk to one another. We are great at talking AT each other…not so good at talking To, or WITH each other. How did we get here? When did we stop communicating and begin thinking that simply because we are talking AT someone we are having a conversation? [Read more…]