by Jennifer Dyer
When I picked up eldest after school the other day, she slumped into the car and folded her arms across her chest. Meanwhile her two younger cousins trudged across the field carrying multiple heavy bags full of the school’s gerbil and her accoutrements.
“Honey, go help your cousins.”
Eldest had suddenly gone deaf. Not even a eye twitch to show she had heard me. I repeated myself. Three times, the last without the “honey.” Nothing. Either she had lost both eardrums or she was ignoring me.
By this time, her cousins were getting close. She was watching them, resisting my mother-commands, hoping they would get to the car before I figured out she still had perfect hearing.
Hmm. I looked her in the eye with my mother beam-of-doom. “Go. Help. Them.”
She scowled at me, narrowed her eyes, huffed, and flounced out off the car, stopping only to glare at me through the window.
I waited until we got home to whisper in her ear. “We are going to have a little talk in a few minutes.”
She gave me big innocent eyes. “Whatever for?”
I smiled. She knew perfectly well what we would talk about, and she could just stew about it for a while.
After her cousins had gone their separate ways, I sat her down. Dad was behind me, being the muscle and cracking his knuckles. (Okay, not really, but it is a funny picture…)
Anyway, I told her she was going to write me an essay–a blog, in today’s terms.
Her jaw fell open. “But that’s what you do.” (Apparently, anything a tween’s mom does is automatically relegated to acts-of-un-coolness.) Oh well, doesn’t bother me. I forged on.
“I want one sheet of paper written on why you should help others, and what God says about helping others.”
Her head shot up. “And?”
“Yes, and I want another one-page report/blog/essay/paper on why you should respect your parents, again noting what the Bible has to say about that.”
Groan. She immediately developed a limp, but managed to get up the stairs to her room.
As soon as she was out of earshot, hubby high-fived me. (Who knew parents carried on like that?) “Nice one. You know how she feels about writing.”
It took her quite a while to get the writing done, but she turned in a nice paper. I resisted the urge to edit it–that wasn’t the point, after all. Plus, I don’t want to deter her from writing. On the contrary, writing is a nice way to think through issues, and I wanted to provide her with that chance.
So, I’m looking forward to future reports. Someday she might have a blog entitle, “Things my mother made me write about.”