Think about it, how many of you would be willing to just blurt out a word in hopes of using it correctly? I am absolutely convinced that the Lord blessed me with my boy as a reminder that I must never take life to seriously. At the ripe old age of twelve, he really comes across as if he knows what he is talking about, until he decides to use a new word or he thinks he is using one correctly. Quickly he reminded of the fact that he is still just a man-child as he opened his mouth and tested my theory, thinking before he speaks, not an option.
I have to admit, I actually love this part of his personality, most of the time. As he learns to navigate through the English language, weaving in and out of new words and phrases, I find myself coming to the realization that he would rather find out the hard way then to ask what a word meant before using it. Does he see this as a challenge? Is he fighting his way from being a boy to a man?
I will spare you the gory details of some of his finer moments that will go down in his history book of what not to say. I am only hoping and praying that he hides all of our late night talks about the dangers of using words without knowing the meanings, deep in his heart. Rebellion and innocents seem to be constant companions of his pre-teen life. I can tell by the grin on his face and lifting of his brow that the testing is going on as a word rolls off his lips and into the air for anyone to catch.
On this particular day, it was pure innocents that was leading and guiding his conversation. We both sat in front of his teacher, only our second meeting of the school year, discussing the options of making up P.E. when illness has kept him out. His precious teacher looked at him and then me and proceeded to share with us that she was not worried about him not getting enough physical activity. I wonder what gave it away, how could she tell by just a few meetings that he never stops moving? Could it be the fact that he is to busy getting ready for the next event in his life that matching things like socks, shorts and shirts are not a priority to him. Just maybe the way he leaves his hair looking like the wind just blew threw it, gives his athletic abilities away. Whatever it might have been, she was right, physical activity is a number one event in his life.
As his teacher and I discussed this very thing, I shared with her how we were not T.V. watchers, how we had actually canceled our cable five years ago. When all of sudden my man-boy got this concerned look on his face as if he had to defend himself or something. Then I could see the wheels spinning as if I were inside his head, I new he was about to do it, he was going to speak without thinking, a word or two he might not even know right out of his mouth. What would his new teacher think and worse yet, what was he going to say?
He turned first to me and then to her, it looked as if he even took a deep breath and then his mouth opened up and the words came out, hands on his hips, he said, “I am not a potato chip!” Well, thank God, innocents had knocked on the door of his mouth at that moment. The laughter started deep with in me and made it’s way directly out of my mouth and off my lips, I did hold back and was careful not to laugh to hard or to loud but he knew the minute I chuckled that it happened once again.
I winked at him and said, “I think you mean couch potato.” His darling teacher quickly jumped in to save him, not knowing that this type of behavior was typical in our daily life. She smiled a smile that was so big and genuine, she hugged my son with her words and simply said, “I like potato chip better.” She then smiled at me with a look in her eyes as if to say, “what now?” We just continued on with the conversation about school, finished our meeting and went on our way.
As we got in the car, I could not help but take a quick moment to look at my son and thank God once again for the gift he gave me in him, a daily reminder of the importance of not taking life to serious. I will never look at another potato chip the same way.