Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Little Man Helping Pump Gas

Today when we pulled up to the gas station, I told Hunter to stay put while I went in to pre-pay for our gas.

"But Mommy, you need a little boy to come with you." was his gentle reply.

In which I returned, "No, I need a little man to come with me. Can you be my little man?"

He beamed with excitement and replied, "Yeah" with a smirk as he climbed out of his booster seat.

Lately I've really been focusing on treating him "like a man" and letting him know how manly he is whenever I can. ALL little kids want to do is to "do it all by myself". How many times a day does he say that? I've lost count. Little kids believe it is their job to grow up, and we spend most of our time trying to convince them that it is their job to stay babies. Unfortunately, we often succeed, and by the time they turn seven or eight years old we then turn around and tell them they need to grow up. By then, it's often too late and we spend the rest of their school-age and teenage years fighting with them to get them to do a minute amount of work.

It's a sad cycle, but nonetheless, I handed Hunter a twenty-dollar bill and told him to give it to the cashier and ask for twenty dollars on pump number three. Boldly, he walked into the station, proudly walked up to the register and made his request just as I had told him, his hand barely reaching the high counter to pass along the twenty.

We left with a smile, I taught him how to press the button with numeral 87 on it, and he pumped the measly 4.7 gallons of gas that twenty dollars had bought us, and did so "all by myself". The whole ordeal took exactly four minutes.

And I was glad that it was summer, because I never would have dreamed of allowing him to help me in the bitter cold months of winter that we are accustomed to in the Midwest.

It was such a refreshing experience, seeing how proud he was of himself for being an active part in life and doing something that was truly valuable and worthwhile, that I've decided that from now on, in the warm months at least, I would never keep him strapped in his seat while I get gas. And, just perhaps, this four-minute investment will pay off even more dividends in the end, when he is perhaps a bit taller and he will be pumping ME the gas in the cold winter months when I stay warm in the car. Perhaps? Nah, don't doubt it: he will. Raising little men pays off in the end, for you and mostly, for them.

"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
Proverbs 31:27,28,31

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old

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