Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Can't Believe I'm Old Enough To Write This

As I stood in the short line recently to pay for my wonderfully refreshing mid-day beverage I eyed the young man in front of me. He might have been 8 or 9 years old. 10 at the max. He was reciting numbers to the overly bubbly worker staffing the cash register. Hmm. I had no idea what they were doing but they seemed to be on the same wavelength. I was perplexed. And then the employee turned to the lottery ticket dispensing machine.

You've. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

Boy wonder had been sent into the store by mom or dad who waited outside in the car for him to return with their lottery tickets. Welcome to 2012 and the newest way to teach your kid math.

This morning, while in Missouri, I lined up behind granny and grandson. She propped herself up on a walker and had a little machine trailing along behind her. The boys job was to push the machine wherever grandma went. The machines job was to pump oxygen into her nostrils. After asking the clerk three times for the total amount of her purchase she wrote a check to pay for the twenty packs of cigarettes and the gas at the pump outside. Then she handed the bag to her servant boy and off they went.

At the risk of sounding very old and uncool ... WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? Did I miss something? When did stupid become the new brilliant? Seriously, do I live in a bubble or something? I never got the memo that it's now "Bizarro-Month" and we are all suppose to do the exact opposite of whatever is sane, normal, moral, and ... well ... RIGHT. I've spent a life time paying attention to kids. I did the youth pastor thing for 33 years. Then I did a stint substitute teaching. My reason for going to Missouri this morning was all about a kid. My granddaughter, The Amazing Elle, was graduating from Kindergarten and I wanted to watch her sing about her experiences to the tune of "The Theme To The Adams Family." Kids are awesome. I mean, geez, I use to be one. Admittedly I wasn't very good at it, but still.

So. There are just a few words that I would like to share with whatever part of the human race reads this part of the blogosphere. Yes, both of you. Here goes.

Spare the rod, spoil the child. Raise up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it. Clean your room. Don't hit your brother. Don't stand so close when your brother is trying to hit you. Stop running with those scissors. Keep your arms inside the car at all times. Don't spit on the sidewalk. That's your mother and you WILL respect her. The police will not think that's as funny as you do. The crust is good for you. Don't you dare light that fuse in the house. Eat your vegetables. Get those peas out of your pocket. Do your homework. Go to bed. Turn that light off. There is nothing under your bed and I'm the only monster you have to worry about.

There. Those are pretty much the only words I heard for the first 10-ish years of my life. Except for the three that matters most. I love you. And because they said all of those other words ... I believed the last three.

Give it a try. It just might work.