It was noontime and the hungry horde of kids clamored for their food and cake!
We were at a friend’s house for her son’s third birthday party, but, where was she? All these kids and no hostess!
It appeared that adults were having a better time than the kids. They had congregated outside to carry on and enjoy the summer afternoon and invigorating ocean breeze.
I wanted to be out in the sunshine too, but since my kids were inside and there was no supervision, I stayed with all the kids! As usual, I was left to make sure the little ones were taken care of. Somehow, she just expected it, and I always managed to fulfill her expectations. Not so much for her, you see, but more for the children.
A myriad of unattended beer cans scattered the living room. The three year-old birthday-boy wandered, systematically, from one to the other, sucking down the suds. He went for my can of sprite, but I swiftly grabbed it. He ignored his lunch, and the other kids.
When I finally got his mom’s attention to let her know what he was doing, she just laughed and said, “Oh, he does that all the time”…. like that was normal for a three-year old. “Beer for breakfast,” was her motto.
“What about…” I started, but she was gone again!
Some party. My own kids sat there befuddled, because everyone else was running around wildly, throwing food and getting into things they shouldn’t. Clapping my hands, while starting up a funny song to gain the children’s attention, I passed out paper plates and tried to figure out which food-stuffs were for the kids.
Settling down that large group of little ones down definitely drew on all my mom-tricks, songs, and expectant parental directives. What a drain; I just wanted to go home!
The little birthday-boy had eaten three bowls of applesauce, candy and a huge glass of sugary Kool-Aid. He refused any other food and started acting exceptionally strange.
I think he was drunk!
Why this didn’t seem to upset his mother, I’ll never understand! She was just happy that he had eaten his applesauce. Three bowls of applesauce. . . and nothing else substantive.
“He never wants to eat,” she said, “and I don’t force him”
“No he just lives on beer,” I said emphatically! Irritated, I continued,
“No wonder he doesn’t want to eat, he’s got a sugar-rush from his daily beer-bash! …and you wonder why he’s always sick? A body needs food! Who’s the Mother here?”
Oh boy ! Her face turned violet. She was MAD!
Lashing out at me about how my kids were repressed and too controlled, she railed on. Didn’t I know they needed to be less restrained and free to be “kids”?
Really? As though children come loaded with an inward GPS that makes sure they will always go in the right direction. Indeed! Who was the parent here?
This child had her trained – trained to coddle his every whim; not to do what was good for his well-being.
Less restraint!! That type of logic worked so well that this must be why this kid now in his 30’s, has been in trouble more times than not, and has never held down a job!
Earlier, in his teens, rather than getting involved with real hands-on parenting, it was easier for the parents to load this poor kid with Ritalin. Later, he was caught selling it to classmates. What a super plan for parenting and child-training!
At another party for kids, my little half-sister kept running by the candy bowl and had filled up on candy and chips before lunch. I tried to intervene but her mom pulled at my arm, “I just have to pick my battles,” was her limp excuse.
I couldn’t believe my ears. Pick her battles? My ears perked up at the injection of personal selfishness in her tone. She was an older mom and this was her only child.
Admit it – she just didn’t want the conflict that confrontation might bring. She closed her eyes when supervision was needed most.
She had one child; I had five. I don’t remember ever getting off that easy.
These children, no longer, small and cute, are unable to control their thoughts, their words, their relationships, their spending etc, and are running headlong into disaster. One has been in jail, and the other has been in rehab two times.
These parents all professed a relationship with God, yet they tended to pick and choose what part of The Word of God they would embrace.
One woman told me that she thought her children would just pick up Christianity by an “osmosis” of sorts. She figured that since they grew up in her household, they would automatically just “Get it”. People used to refer to it as “Apron-strings salvation”.
Although many Christian kids seem to be nice kids on the outside, because of a lack of restraint, they feel “entitled,” and become very sneaky and divisive. The parents have no clue, as they are wrapped up in their own drama and weariness.
God has been very clear about one thing. Our flesh needs restraining. Our minds need to be continually trained and renewed, otherwise mind and flesh won’t behave properly!
In short……..God has a lot to say about this in Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he!
Parents or children, the only thing we have to help our minds stay on track is The Living Word of God.
We won’t pick it up by osmosis, that’s for sure.