As any parent of teenagers knows, life with teens has you constantly on and off the love/hate list. Most times you are on the hate list. So it is with great joy that I take in and cherish every moment on the love list! Okay, maybe that's taking it a bit far, but doesn't it feel like it sometimes? Well, several times lately I feel like I might have moved a step or two towards that love list. I know, I know, it won't last long before the teen rules and regulations put me back on the sideline and I am the tough guy again; but really, lately I have ENJOYED being with my teens.
Case in point -- this past Saturday our area sponsored a Home & Garden Show in which my dad and brothers participated. I wanted to check out their booth and also take a couple of stools for them to sit on (three day event). I told my dad that "we" would be there around 10:00 in the morning. If you have teenagers, you KNOW they are not keen on getting out of bed early, and especially not on a Saturday morning, because Saturdays are meant for sleeping in. I fixed a special breakfast for the guys. The younger was not too much trouble. It was the older one who was trouble. Well, he just didn't want to get up. His thoughts were: who wants to go to an old HOME AND GARDEN SHOW! Man, that stuff's for GIRLS! I should have pushed that "girl" point -- after all, he is SIXTEEN and likes girls... Finally I told him it would be good driving practice and I needed a chauffeur. Plus it would probably mean eating out one meal, and if he didn't go he would have to eat a sandwich at home -- get 'em through their stomachs, it works just about every time!
Once at the show I turned the guys loose and let them roam the arena while I stayed with my family for a while, waiting for my sister to show up. There was so much to see, so much to learn. My guys, who did not want to even attend, were fascinated with the stuff going on. My younger son was interested in the cooking demonstrations (he enjoys cooking and is considering becoming a chef) and even helped one of the participants for a while. My older son was fascinated by the bee traps. So fascinated in fact that once we got home, he researched them on the Internet and then spent several hours outside building his own. I went outside to check on him once and he had his shirt off and was using a hand saw to cut through a 1" x 6" board. He told me he thought he might like to go into contracting work (I think he needs a LOT more practice).
One of the shows the event hosted was about birds of prey, sponsored by the area's wild bird sanctuary. Four birds of prey were featured, which we saw live and close up. My guys were fascinated (so was I), and it turns out they want to take a day trip to the sanctuary to see more of these birds. Hmm... they NEVER want to take trips, I'd better take advantage of this.
Looks like I'm off the bad list for a while, and I think I may be looking forward to that day trip about as much as my guys!
You know, as much as I love my sons and really dislike being ignored by them, how much more do we think the heavenly Father feels when His own children put Him on that ignore and "hate" list? Much more than earthly parents He wants to give us what is best for us. He wants to spend time with us. In fact, that's why we were created! Instead we put Him on the back burner, the if I find time I'll spend time with You list. Puts things into perspective, doesn't it?