Y’all, I’m sitting here basking under a very sunny window and listening to the wind whipping and howling outside. I guess it’s supposed to snow again tomorrow. I’m grateful to at least have sun today, but we absolutely have to make it into town before the weekend (or else delay Cuddle Bug and Tiny Dancer’s fifth birthday!). Papa Bear and I have to find a babysitter in order to go shopping together, though, because our brand new (to us) Durango is in the shop, and we’re driving a cute but compact rental car.
Why, you might wonder, is our new car in the shop? Oh, that would be because someone backed smack dab into it…while it was parked in an almost empty church parking lot.
“Someone just backed into the Durango!” Papa Bear called me from work.
“Oh, I hope you were nice!!” I said, cringing over his possible reaction. You see, just a few months ago we witnessed a fender bender in a parking lot. The injured [materially] party was not exactly gracious, and my heart went out to the depth-perception-impaired driver of the offending car.
“I wish someone would run into us!” I said in a fit of mercy. We were still driving our minivan at the time, though, and with the amount of dings and scratches it had, one more couldn’t possibly make a difference. Now someone had damaged something new and shiny, and I hoped we’d look like Jesus in the wake.
A few days after the accident, I was in the kitchen occupied with soapy water and a sponge. The kids were eating a real lunch…the kind requiring a fork…and I looked up just in time to witness destruction. Lil Prince stuck his fork in a groove of the table, and (not intentionally, but as if suffering from a surge of testosterone) twisted it to pop out a thin sliver of wood. “Whaaaaaa….” I began to correct him, and then about a million thoughts ran through my head.
I dried my hands and sat down with the kids for a round table discussion. “Is stuff important?” I asked.
They immediately, and enthusiastically, agreed that stuff was not important. “But is it important to take care of our stuff?” I quizzed again.
I’ve worked so hard at immunizing my kids against materialism that I might not being teaching them enough about stewardship. Or, I wasn’t, we’ve been working on it every day since.
I’d really like to hear from all of you on this one….how do you* handle the topic of stewardship in your home? Specifically, do you have different consequences for reckless accidents than you do for purposed destruction? Do you apply consequences for accidents at all? And, what do you teach your children to do (if anything) when someone breaks something that they love?