12.03.2007

My Little Scientists

I was driving to a friend's on Thursday afternoon with the boys in their seats in the back of my van, and I heard a shaking sound that could not be anything other than the bottle of Coke -- that Brooks (my 6-y-o son) had in his hand when he climbed into the van -- being vigorously shaken. Oh, no!

"Brooks, don't you dare open that bottle now! Don't shake soda!"

. . . shake, shake, shake . . .

"Mom, it's not a can, it's a bottle!"

. . . shake, shake, shake . . .

"I know, Brooks! Don't you dare open it now! Bottles and cans of soda are no different if you shake them!"

. . . loud hissing sound . . .

"Oh! You're right, Mom, they're not!"

"Oh, Brooks! Did you get it on your electronic games? It will ruin your DS and GameBoy!"

"No, Mom, just on the seat and on the floor. It's not even on me. Just a little bit."

"Oh, Brooks!" (Exasperated sigh.)

But that is just so much me! I know exactly what it is to have a theory (bottles of soda are different than cans) and need to test it out. That is why I've been a mom who laughed at my 3-y-o Josh throwing eggs at the wall in my apartment 19 years ago. That is why I've been a mom who laughed (and took the matches) when my 11-y-o Mike told me (in a voice with great disdain) "Mom, I know what I'm doing!" as he tried to light a small fire on the wooden deck between our house and detached garage 12 years ago. And that is why I infuriated my Dad as I just sat and watched my 12-month-old Noah pull all the Kleenex out of a small box of Kleenex 7 years ago (despite "all that wasted money!")

I value their "learning experiences" more than I value my time in cleaning up or the money spent on a box of Kleenex (but not more than I value my house and deck and garage if threatened with fire by an 11-y-o genius.) I think God is just like that with us. He values our growth and wisdom more than He values what some people think He should value . . . but not more than He values the lives of others. But, if you look at what we can blame God for . . . He certainly does seem to value one person's growth in wisdom and character over another person's comfort very frequently . . . perhaps because a sacrifice in my comfort is also a valuable learning experience to me about what really matters.

My boys matter. My van doesn't. My boys matter. My possessions and time and energy are to serve God's interests in bringing them to maturity.

How often do we make the people in our lives secondary to the things in our lives that are really only there to serve the people we love?

God, today use me to help each of the people I love to grow stronger and wiser and more joyful!

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