Before Herb left for work on Monday morning, he and I had a parenting conference about our boy, who seemed to be in need of "reeling in".
Consequently, when Nathaniel got up, I communicated the results to him--basically that he would be adjusting his priorities away from entertainment and toward choosing good things like spiritual reading.
I also assigned him and Emma each five raised bed garden boxes to cultivate.
"But I have to go golfing this afternoon," said he.
"No, you can't go golfing this afternoon because you have cooking class. You have to get your schoolwork done this morning," I replied.
"Cooking!" he said in disgust. "I don't want to cook!"
"You told me you did, and I made the arrangements," I said. "Now you are going."
Schoolwork began under a thick cloud of tension. Finally, it was lunchtime. Nathaniel wandered into the kitchen and picked up a silly greeting card that I had bought on a whim.
The front of the card is an old black-and-white photo of two women in hunting outfits, complete with shotguns. The message is:
God grant us the patience
to change the men we can,
the aim to shoot the men we can't,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!," Nathaniel screamed, dropping the card and running from the kitchen as if his hair and clothes were on fire.
Alarmed, I caught up with him at the back door. "What's the matter? I asked.
"That's just what you're doing to me!" he shouted with a hurt look in his baby blue eyes. "COOKING and GARDENING and SPIRITUAL READING!" he said, emphasizing each word with a grimace and a deep knee bend.
Then he fled out the back door, which was a really good thing because I could not have kept a straight face a moment longer.