Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Cat Threw Up

My 15 year old son, Caleb, related recently this story to me:

"It was late at night, around midnight, and I was getting up to go to bed when I stepped in something wet. I looked down and saw that it was cat throw up. I was totally grossed out. I had stepped in cat puke! And, even worse, I knew that it had to be cleaned up. 

My first thought was, 'I better go get Mom so she can clean this up right now.' 

But then I had a another thought. 

'You know, I wouldn't like to be awakened from sleep to clean up a mess that someone else found. I bet Mom won't like it either. I think I will clean it up myself, since I'm the one who found it.'"

Can I get an "Amen"?

There are times when you wonder, as a parent, whether your children are getting it. You pour it and pour it, but it doesn't seem to soak in.

Personal responsibility. Owning your actions. Going above and beyond what is required of you. Doing what needs to be done. Helping out when you can. Being kind to others. And on and on it goes. The lessons to teach and to learn are endless.

Then one day your teenager cleans up a hairball by himself and suddenly you know: it's not all going to waste. It's not out of my mouth and over his head. Real change is slowly, but surely happening. Maturity is taking place.

I'll turn around in a few days and Caleb will be graduating high school, then college, and then moving on with his life. And thanks to the midnight hairball, I know now that he will be okay. He can already cook a few simple things. He can load and unload a dishwasher. And he can even clean up something extremely gross when he steps in it. He will make it in this world.

I have never been so excited to hear that the cat threw up.

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