Life Lessons

Some lessons are taught purposefully, some are spontaneous.

Today Jack got them both.

This morning he dug a wad of cash from his piggy bank to buy Ben a present for his birthday. Ben has been asking for the Mickey Mouse book with miniatures figurines for some time now. He loves little miniature anything. He collects them and carries them around the house, taking them all out and naming them every day. We have almost every other board book with miniature included in a box in the back but the Mickey Mouse one. Ben knows it and asks often when we can get it.

So Adam jogged Jack down to Barnes and Noble this morning. Jack wanted to buy something for himself but Papa said no. This was a lesson on the value of money and the joy of giving. A perfect one for this age, as Jack has started to ask for everything he sees. I’d love it if he cherished the stuff he had more instead of always looking for the next new thing.

Jack was good, he restrained himself and wasn’t too upset that he couldn’t buy something for himself. He was not particularly bothered to part with his allowance either.

Later that morning we headed to the club to take the older boys swimming. Everyone had the same idea as us. It was more crowded than I’d ever seen it.

As a special July 4th treat they had snow cones for the kids available. We got in line with the boys. I got them snow cones then moved on to the flavored syrups. In the background I heard Adam’s voice getting louder.

I turned around to find his chest puffed out, arms arched backwards, yelling at one of the staff. Instinctively I rushed the boys along, getting their snow cones filled and trying to shield them from anything ugly or upsetting.

I found out later that the staff member, a muscular bar back, in a rush on such a busy day, pushed through the line of kids waiting for the snow cones and physically pushed Jack out of the way.

Adam grabbed his arm and said, “You just almost knocked over my son.”

Instead of being greeted with an apology, the staff member said, “If I had pushed your son he’d be on the ground right now.  You can’t hit me like that.”

Adam, “If I would have hit you, you would have been on the ground right now. Where is your manager?

What would I have done in this situation? Probably watched it all happen, then comment to the people around how rude the guy was. Maybe even point it out to the other staff members working near by. I’m sure they won’t have bothered lodging a complaint for me. The meat head bar back’s behavior certainly would not have been reprimanded by the manager.

As an adult, do I want my boys to bend when they are pushed around? To get beat on and, instead of defending themselves, roll their eyes at the crowd around them? NO! I want them to stick up for themselves! Like my husband! Don’t take the easy way out and feel wronged all day. Have the good sense to speak up.

It’s so important for little boys to have a strong male role model. I’m so pleased the our boys will have one that not only thinks ahead and plans important life lessons, but in a sticky situation can also show them how to stand up for themselves.

Next time, I won’t try to usher them away. Next time I’ll stand proudly by Adam and help the kids learn how to be a man.

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