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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Learner's Permit

I must confess, the daunting task of parenting seems, on some days, to be as fitful as "hair in a hurricane" to quote one famous philosopher. A cool drink of water came today however, when my friend "facebooked" the Spikenard blog on his wall, and thus opened the door to a few more friends. *Welcome to you!* I am grateful to my friend, Patrick Madrid, and humbled by his kind words.

That having been said (and my palms instantly got sweaty), I have figured out how to post my 4-part conversion story over here to the right - another miracle.

Onto the warp and weft of the day: Elder son, age 16, who is campaiging for student govt at his Catholic school greets mom at 5am with "I had to take down all of my Che Guevara/hammer and sickle posters today because they offended Mrs. D". Now, mind you, I knew that said son - an avowed communist from September-ish thru now - was going to attempt to incite a quasi-revolt. Why? Because he is a teenager. In my feeble wisdom and since all of my tyrades have fallen on deaf ears, I decided to offer him rope long enough with which to (figuratively) hang himself, and stayed my hand at intervention on the poster pin-up extravaganza. A spirited debate ensued over why I believe communism to be intrinsically evil and a failed social construct. As tempered cooled, I simply asked him to consider the experiences and strong feelings of others as he tries to objectively think through his opinion. And then the research began. After we parted company, I went to God. I admitted that this subject matter made me feel rather dumb and asked for His patience and help to find guidance for my boy. Help arrived in many forms: a best friend's encouraging words, the support of a father who has 11 of his own, the ability to PAUSE (and that is huge), and more comically, a totally unexpected whisper from the past from Facebook, 3.5 hours post conflagration: It went like this:

Hey Karen, I just remembered: One day Army Recruiters or some sort of recruiters came to our school to give us aptitude tests. We both protested this and refused to take it and then left the school and hung out.

Coincidence? No, I don't believe in coincidence. My kid may not look anything like me, however he is every bit like me in temperment and moments of open defiance. What a blast of conviction! It took my friend's memory and communication to remind me of this moment of clarity. Miracle #2. I believe my Father knows me better than I know myself and he waits until I am soft enough to understand. The lessons my son must learn are lessons for me too. The teacher arrives, when the students are ready. Please continue to pray for me, for my kiddo and for all parents who are still struggling on the "learner's permits"; that we may recognize God's image enough in us and in our children to trust His gentle steering.

And yes, my hubster and I will be engaged in an in-home crash course of the Envoy Institute's DVD: "Combating Relativism and the Culture of Death". That guy with 11 kids must have a commercial license.

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