Just about a week ago my son rushed into the bedroom carrying my laptop computer on top of his head, speaking in a high-pitched voice with rapid speech which I thought might have been the ”other Tongues language,” from the New Testament from Acts Chapter Two. It was like a ”violent rushing wind” again from Acts Chapter Two. He was trying to tell me how much I was going to love it. He was dancing and hopping and twirling around. He was dipping real low and standing straight up with the biggest smile that he could manage. This reminded me how I felt when I passed my class in Romans when attending SJBC now Jessup U. with Dallas as my Professor. Of course my face was white as snow worrying how I was going to explain to his mother how we busted my computer into a 1000 pieces. As all this was happening Aidan was experiencing a level of joy an 11 year old might be experiencing if he had just inherited a Toys ur us store. All the time I was watching his joy at this still unknown discoverey trying to imagin what I was going to tell mom about my computer if Aidan dropped it. All at once Aidan tossed himself onto the bed sliding the screen under my face. I was surprised to see that I was looking at a selection of socks. Yes socks. We are talking some very colorful socks. They were truly works of art full of color and images of current basketball greats. Aidan could tell I was just as excited as he was. He went into a sales pitch that I have heard so often before. First of all these are the only socks of their kind and they can’t be bought or found anywhere else. Right. He then pointed out all the physical, psychological, spiritual and political reasons to buy and own a least two pairs of these socks. Then he tells me I could get them for his birthday, Christmas or any holidays that I consider important.
After three or four follow up conversations and seventy-two hours of sleep depravation I had agreed to one pair of the socks. I felt as if I had experience the Jedi mind trick with Aidan waving his hand in front of my eyes saying, SON I WILL BE HAPPY TO BUY YOU AN 18 DOLLAR PAIR OF SOCKS and then without thought I repeated his words. I know what some of you are thinking and that is ”Man Up.” Yes I said an 18 dollar pair of socks.
I started thinking about what just happened, the Jedi Mind Trick or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity could not explain what happen to me. I know we that is I probably spend a little to much on my son. I have often had conversations with him explaining how he is fortunate and how we are fortunate as a family. His mother and I have often said to him how we hope he understood how much mom and dad loves him and that giving him things or buying things for him brings joy to our lives. We have had many ”Car Conversations” helping him understand that giving him things is just a small expression of our love for him and that love is expressed in many other ways between parents and children. We look for those teaching moments where we try and explain to him that God wants to use us as his servants and to bless others with a portion of the wealth that he has blessed us with. Of course the idea is as we are blessed we can bless others. Just maybe he will learn to freely give to others as we haven given to him.
So we scheduled a time to visit the foot Locker and before I left with Aidan I met one more time with Alison to see how we might redirect Aidan and find a happy out. I know be a man, tell him who the parent is. Have you ever had an 11 year old use a paradoxical intervention that is a complex psychological process to get what he wants. Its not pretty.
Well we left for the foot Locker and yes I bought the socks for my son and no I only bought one pair. We also had a hamburger and an a yogurt. As we were doing all these things we talked about everything including Jesus, his behavior, school, basketball, mom and a bunch of other things. We were driving home and he told me how he was going to be able to score more points and run a lot faster and that he really had needed his new socks. As we were driving he said he was having a good time, just a great time with me. When I heard his words and the tone of his little voice I remembered that about 4 nights earlier he and I were watching a movie and eating popcorn and he told me that night ”dad aren’t we having a good time just a great time.” The popcorn only cost about 50 cents. I guess it is true on occasion that a pair of socks can cost 18 dollars and popcorn 50 cents but like the commercial says time together just good and great time together is priceless. What priceless gifts God gives us. Corky