I have been trying to take some vacation time with my wife. Yet, interruptions seem to be a fact of life. Last week we were going to go to San Diego, yet my Anne had surgery, which was an eye opening shock. Cancer wasn’t a word I thought would be used in conjunction with my Anne. I am so thankful that cancer isn’t going to be part of my vocabulary with my Anne. Next in line is my dad. We go to see him last night after a crazy scare last week with my Anne. Just before we leave after dinner with my niece and nephew I get a call and then text from my dad’s group homeowner. Grandpa is sick with the flu what shall we do? Decision time!
After returning back to our house after a staycation at a local resort I knew that I had to help a couple of our teens, who are broke and semi-homeless. My heart continues to break for these gals. I don’t know how to help them help themselves because they are caught in the aftermath of their mom’s choices. I know that Scripture talks about the sins of the fathers impacting generations to come. I now see and understand what this is all about. Most of my teens aren’t responsible for their circumstances that they grew up around or inherited through their parent(s)’s choices. Yet, they are forced to grow up too soon and have always been in the hussling mode.
I had to make a tough decision about a cell phone, which I had given to this one teen for her safety not her personal pleasure. I also had asked her mom not to use the phone because in the past it meant that my personal numbers were used for all of her ‘stuff’ from bill collectors to potential jobs. My goal was that both of them would respect my desires and keep the phone under these conditions. Unfortunately the phone was broken then the sim card was taken and put in another phone without my permission. I attempted to explain that regardless of the phone that they used it was my simcard and minutes that helped them.
I have to admit that I get annoyed with adults and teens that don’t know how to respect another’s person’s privacy. I had the scare of my life a week ago and went away for a day with my Anne. The purpose was to get away from phone calls and e-mails to be focused on her and allow our kids some time to love their mom. So when I get numerous calls from this teen and her mom I’m a little ticked. I attempt to explain in a nice way that when the phone is stolen that I don’t have much sympathy and that it would take $40 to re-activate another phone which will also cost more money. I explained in a nice fashion that I couldn’t any longer support such irresponsible actions.
I went back online and looked at the usage of the phone and kinda knew what I would find. Yeah, these two had 7,000 texts in a month, which didn’t cost me anything but it was the 1,000 minutes, which took my usage over my monthly limit. I had to make a tough decision and turned off that line. I knew that I would get a text soon saying that they had found the phone that was either lost or stolen. The obvious question was what do we need to do to get it activated. My response, which wasn’t welcomed, was nothing. The line is turned off and it is time to get your own phone and be responsible.
So after dropping off these two teens at a local Laundromat and doing a couple of errands I knew I needed to talk with this one teen. She is like my daughter or grandkid. I have been around her and her family a bunch over the last 6 years. God has done so much to help them, yet, the response from her mom and brother isn’t stellar. Why should she be punished because of their foolish choices? Neither the mom nor brother wants to be responsible for their actions but truly believe that they should get everything without any strings attached. I know that getting a job in today’s world isn’t easy and that keeping a job requires actually getting up and following through regardless of what is happening around you.
So as I’m talking with my teen I see tears, yes tears. Why are you crying? Please don’t make me out to be the bad guy. I so much want to help but in the right way that will help you make the right choices and not become a flake like your brother or someone that really excepts something for nothing. I tried to explain how I felt when I was facing one of the most difficult days in my life and her mom didn’t have the common sense to wait and not call 10 times in a row. I didn’t want my wife to have to answer a call and get caught in the middle of something that is totally a waste of time.
So why should my kids be punished for my sinful foolish choices? I say this because I want to be honest and say that my actions often impact my family in negative ways. I can be just as selfish or too busy to care at times. Yet, my choices haven’t translated into any of my kids being homeless, without an education or jobless. All of them have cell phones; none of them live out of their cars that are broken down. Yes, those tears yesterday afternoon hurt me. I didn’t have the power to fix anything. The power of change was in someone else’s hand that is unwilling to step up and follow through. Please pray for my teen and me. I hurt and also have tears which aren’t going to accomplish much.