The Drummer Boy
It was 10:15pm and Bruce and I were headed to bed like two senior citizens making sure they got their eight hours of rest, knowing good and well, we wouldn’t—neither of us sleep that long! Savannah and Tucker came in to say goodnight and chat for a minute and then the door closed behind them and I snuggled under the blankets ready to rest.
Just as I was good and warm and relaxed, out of nowhere, Tucker, our fifteen-year-old son, bolted through the door and said,
“Hey dad, wanna take me to Whataburger at 11pm? We can get breakfast?”
After a few well aimed pillows hit his head and we shouted, “No!!!” laughter ensued. This kid is a bottomless pit these days. If you have raised a boy, then you know. We offered a few solutions to his hunger delimma and he causally said,
“You know, if I have to make my own food, the kitchen might be noisy for a while. You really might want to take me to Whataburger, for your own convenience.” The tone in his voice was silly and mischievious.
Bruce and I, in unison, shouted, “NO!”
Seconds later, we heard the pull of the cabinet drawers opening, and I realized what he was going to do. The clank of the large pot, the slide of the large popcorn tin on the countertop and the hollow sauce pans being pushed together let me know loud and clear we were about to be treated to a drum concert! This kid is hysterical. In a matter of minutes, he was playing beats and rhythms like a solo drumline.
Bruce and I stayed in bed. Trying to hold back the laughter. For ten minutes the drumming continued, until finally, I intervened. Slowly I made my way out from under the warm blankets and into the kitchen where the concert was taking place. Tucker had a large pot on his head, two pots on the counter and the popcorn tin. There he was playing his heart out with a couple of wooden spoons.
And maybe because our last year has been full of so many weird, unpredicatable and even sad moments, this was even funnier than it really was. But as I gazed at my near grown son, I decided to be thankful for the humor, thankful he is talented, strong and healthy. I even considered that 11pm breakfast trip to Whataburger might be a good idea.
I’m learning that as my kids grow older I have the choice to enjoy them or find them burdensome. Yes, there are times Tucker needs a firm hand to guide him, but there are also times where we can let a few things go and just be in the moment with him. His heart was playful and fun last night, not disrespectful or rude. When I take the time to carefully evaluate the motives and attitudes behind the behavior, I can respond in an equally responsible way.
Sometimes I make too much of a situation. Last night, I could have easily taken his behavior and decided he was being disobedient and inconsiderate, when really, he was just being fun. I need to lighten up and take time to notice the difference!
God gave us our children for many reasons. Just like God gets great joy from his own children, our children can be the source of great joy for us as parents. Put the work in while they are young. I firmly believe if you take your job seriously as a parent when your kids are little, those teen years don’t have to be full of attitude and rebellion. Teach them, discipline them, guide them and enjoy them.
In case you’re wondering—No! We did not go to Whataburger at 11pm! It was too cold to get out! Maybe next time!