Monday, March 8, 2010

Breathing lessons

So the last few weeks at my bible study with the ladies, the same phrase has been repeated a few times, and it goes something like this.

What you breathe out, they breathe in.

It is offered up as child rearing advice. For some of us at Gospel Transformation it relates to our interaction with the general population of people everywhere, and even close to home, such as skeptical family members, when talking about faith. Therefore, the general idea is to breathe out Holy Spirit in all that we do, in order to be good parents and apostles. It's a very nice idea; it really is.

Sometimes I slip up. Yes, I know this about myself. But I repent and ask forgiveness for all the sins I know about, and ask for grace on the ones I don't recognize, and I figure I'm covered. Hopefully God won't make me pay. My God is way too nice to make me pay if I say I'm sorry.

When my oldest son was four, he was still riding a tricycle. At preschool they held a fundraiser for St. Jude's hospital called the trike-a-thon. All the kids were to bring their tricycles to school and they would ride laps around a track to raise money. Adorable idea. The day of the race, I dropped Key off with his tricycle and a new helmet (did not want to be the bad parent so we had to go buy one the night before) and wished him well. When I picked him up at the end of the day, he was all mad and pouty. Apparently his buddies all rode four wheelers (a bike with training wheels) and so they beat him by several laps. I can just imagine him furiously pedaling, trying in vain to keep up. After that day he would not ride his tricycle. So, for Christmas, we took him to the fancy cycling shop and showed him the pretty green and blue bikes. They were expensive. They were very trendy (for the parents). Nope. He wanted the Hot Wheels bike with a neon handlebar and flames going down the sides from Walmart. I hate Walmart. I hate Walmart toys. Luckily Santa is much less snobby, because he got Key his dream bike.

Now Key is three years older. He needs a new bike, and his birthday is coming up. I asked him where he would like to go look for bikes - Walmart perhaps? I'm thinking of my checkbook, summer vacation, and lots of other plans coming up. His answer - Nope. Not Walmart. He wants to go to one of those "fancy" bike shops that have the cool, expensive bikes. You know, the trendy ones. So now, I am going to get to pay. And I have done it to myself. Because if I try to teach him a lesson in being grateful for what he has, I am going to have to be grateful for what I have too.

Eww. This sort of hurts.

I am going to have to be careful about that breathing thing I do.

What you breathe out, they breathe in. Ouch, says my wallet. Ouch, says my heart.

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