Friday, August 6, 2010

Date with Benjamin

I had such a fun day today.  I had a date with my soon-to-be seven-year-old, Benjamin!  We spent the day shopping for his birthday party, eating lunch at Jason's Deli (by his choice--because you get free ice cream!), and running a few errands.

We are trying really hard to teach both our children how to handle money in a responsible, Biblically-based way.  As has become our normal shopping routine, when we arrived at the party store to buy the decorations and goodies for his party, Benjamin asked me what our budget was.  I told him, and then we were off to the races.  Because we had perused the birthday party themes a few weeks prior, Benjamin knew exactly what he wanted and where it was.  Out came the calculator and we were set.  We first chose the "necessities" (plates, napkins, table cover), and then negotiated for the rest (center piece, invitations, party favors, etc).  The invitations went back on the shelf after I told him I could make some on the computer, which would give him six more dollars to choose the goodies he was really wanting.  Once we reached our allotted amount and he was happy with what we had chosen, it was off to the check-out stand.  I was so proud of him for knowing we needed to stick to a budget and being willing to do so without any arguments or fussing.  He is growing up so quickly, right before my very eyes.

We had a fun lunch together (With his kids' hot dog meal and my turkey wrap and fruit, we both ate at Jason's Deli for $10!  Woo hoo!  And don't forget the free ice cream!), and then continued down our list of errands.  As we were walking into one store, I thought I would do a little check-up on how this mommy is doing on the parenting front.  I didn't know what kind of responses I would receive from Benjamin, but I hoped for some constructive criticism and for a window into his little mind as to what he might be missing from me. 

I first asked Benjamin what was something I did that he really liked or wished that I would do more of.  He replied, "Well, everything you cook is good, so that's something that you do that I like.  And last night, you looked like you were pretty good at grilling (that's usually Mark's territory), so maybe you should do more grilling."  He's such a boy--focused on food!  I thought that was a pretty complimentary answer, and knowing I don't do everything well, I at least felt like there was nothing glaring in his eyes that I was missing out on. 

So then I asked, "What is something that I do that you wished I wouldn't do?"  I expected to hear something like, don't get mad at me so often, or don't be a grump so often, or something of the sort.  Instead he said, "Nothing, Mom!  I like everything you do!"  Yes, my heart melted and it was a sweet reminder of just how forgiving our children can be.

Thank you, God, for the gifts of grace and encouragement that you gave to me
today by way of my sweet little boy.


Salem said...

Way to go Karen! You are a GREAT mom! I learn so much from you!

Alisha Thomas said...

Wow! You are so inspiring, Karen. I was browsing through various blogs this afternoon and I am so happy I came across yours. I think it's especially great that your children have such a love for reading--you don't hear about that too often anymore! You seem like such a great person. Thanks for sharing your story! -Alisha