August 6, 2012
The pain of August is setting in for us. I only have 3 days left of my vacation and Beth and CJ start school on the 15th. Both of them have decided that they would be okay with another 3 months away from school. I have decided I would be okay with another week away from work. Maybe we like it here too much.
When CJ was little and Beth would smother him with kisses, he would tell her that she loved him too much. While that is not possible, perhaps we love not working too much. Since we do love getting paid and eating food and living in a house, I suppose we will return to work.
Thanks to any of you who said a little prayer for my sister and her family as they have made it back to Atlanta and her leg is doing fine so far. They have to wait until this Friday to cast the leg so that all the swelling goes down, but they are doing okay so far. Julia can only take children's Advil for the pain since the prescription medicine makes the itching worse. Pink was right when she said that morphine makes her itch. I thought she just said that since what she wanted to call the nurse rhymed with itch. Not so.
Last night we braved the potential for rain and went down to Paul Brown Stadium for the Bengal's practice. We had fun, parked for free, (score!) and got souvenir Bengals cups for a mere $5.50. Oddly enough, the Diet Pepsi does not taste better if you pay more and drink it out of a fancy cup.
This week has also reinforced some life lessons for CJ that I am always grateful to be present for. I sincerely hope all these lessons pay off since there will come a time when I will not be with CJ and he will have a decision to make. Our first job is to protect our children and take a similar oath to that which doctor's take-first, do no harm-so this week gave me further glimpses into this truth.
The head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles is a man named Andy Reid. he has done very well for himself coaching football, and other than that, I do not know much about his background. I have read that his son has had issues with drugs and alcohol and Coach Reid has tried to help him, but his efforts came to an end this week as his son died. He was only 29 years young.
I just read most of an article about a 22 year old soccer player for the Columbus Crew who died this past weekend after being found in a bar. No further details have been released as yet.
While both of these events are beyond tragic for the individuals, I cannot imagine what it must be like for their parents. God blesses you with this little bundle of poop and slobber that you made out of clay, you feed it, clothe it, take it to Build-a-Bear, teach it not to run out into traffic or watch Roseanne sing the National Anthem; and then you lose them well before their time to go. I don't know how life goes on after that.
Therefore, as we sat at the practice last night and the drunk guy was yelling "That's Armon Binns, he went to UC!" every time the receiver caught a pass (like 20 times), I was glad to see that CJ thought this guy was an idiot for showing up at a practice, or any social event for that matter, half in the bag. His behavior did not make CJ think alcohol makes you have more fun at an event.
We also went to a family picnic on Saturday. I warned CJ ahead of time that family picnics are not the place to try to pick up girls (unless you live in Appalachia), but we did not discuss that he would see some free-flowing beer. To be fair, I had a couple myself because there is an expectation that I carry on conversations at functions such as this, and I come out of my reserved shell better with a couple of beers. However, there was the opportunity to watch as, for some people, a couple beers turns into a dozen beers and behavior changes. What may not have been acceptable conduct at 1pm was off the hook at 6pm.
Look, I am not judging these folks since they can lead their own adult lives and know what their own definition of fun is, but a 15 year old boy needs to see that the decisions we make about what we put in our body can affect the outcome of our lives. Drugs and alcohol can change the way you make decisions, excessive sweets can make you gain weight, too many Mountain Dews can rot your teeth, and too many White Castle sliders can increase the amount of time you spend in the bathroom.
Please God, help me to continue to teach CJ lessons that will make him a better person, please protect him from the harm that can come his way whether it be through his own decisions or the decisions made by others, and thank You for the grace you have shown me in my life thus far. Amen.