Interesting topic isn't it? And what a story, but first these thoughts...
He is in his teens so he should be able to stay at home by himself, right? Well, you would think he could.
I was pondering this all day yesterday. We had a meeting last night at church. Do we both go or and leave him at home or does one of us go to the meeting and the other stay at home?
Our decision was based on looking to the past and that brings us to the BB gun and the oven.
One of our other sons had come over and worked with his brother and was going to take him out to eat lunch and show him his office.
My older son called me and said that his brother did not want to go eat with him and wanted to know if he could leave him at home alone.
Of course, what could happen in an hour and I was only 5 minutes away.
When I started home I received a phone call from my son:
Son: (crying hysterically) I didn't mean it.
Me: You didn't mean what?
Son: I didn't mean to do it.
Me: Is the house on fire?
Me: Are you okay?
Me: Okay then we'll handle whatever is it that happened.
When I walked in the hosue he was by the oven and the glass to the front part of the oven was all over the floor.
He tried to tell me what happened (this is one of the times that you don't believe) and I just said, yes hmmm.
We cleaned it up.
Later that night we learned that he wanted to try shooting the BB gun in the house and just wondered what would happen if he hit the oven. Surprise - you break the glass.
I thought for sure our oven was toast (no pun inteneded). I thought that thick glass kept the heat in the oven and didn't let it out.
Nope that isn't what it is for - the heat stays in the oven even without that glass.
I did find out what the glass does. It keeps the oven door open! I found that out the hard way when I was removing a dish from the oven. I opened the door and reached in for the dish. What did the hot oven door do? It burned me as it was trying to close!
If you're wondering if we replaced the oven door let me tell you. No we didn't. It stands as a reminder and the fact that it is too expensive to replace.
I thought back also to the time when I ran up to church for a women's meeting, just 5 mintues away, and left him home.
I gave him strict instructions: do not turn on the oven, do not use the stove, do not use the microwave, do not cook on the stove, and you can sit and watch your television show.
I received a phone call from him. He was so proud of himself. He didn't cook on the stove, no he didn't. He lit the grill and cooked scrambled eggs on a frying pan on the grill. Actually he did a good job of it too.
But none the less we decided that one of us should stay home and the other attend the meeting.
What is normal for other familes is to leave the children at home when they reach a responsible age. That would be abnormal for us - to leave him home even though he is a teen ager.
Is there a new normal here? I think so - the new normal is to work towards being able to leave him home for awhile when he is 17?
From my world to yours....