Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Open Mine Eyes

B3 spent a couple of days with a family from our church. A large family. There are ten children living at home between the ages of just a few months to 16. Quite different from our home of two children. Lawman and I told her that things in Irma's (her friend) house were probably done quite differently than they were in our home due to the number of family members. We asked her to be helpful whenever possible as we were sure that each child had a 'job' to do. Here's a synopsis of our conversation on Saturday night at bedtime.

Me - "Please be helpful when possible or if you are asked. Whatever Irma's job is, you help her if you can."

B3 - "I will. I always do what you ask me to do."

Me - "Yes you do. However, there are times where I have to ask more than once."

B3 - "So. I still do them."

Me - "Yes you do. I would imagine that the jobs in Irma's house are such that if they aren't done when expected that it may have a direct effect in how the family functions meaning that others are depending on them to be responsible."

Lawman and I were pretty sure that this little trip would be a real eye-opener for her.

Sure enough. We were right.

B3 returned home last night. I asked how things went.

B3 - "You wouldn't believe all the things that those kids have to do."

Me - "Really. Tell me. Is it more than what we ask of you at home?"

B3 - "Yeah." (Wish I could get her voice inflection here.) " Lizzy has to cook breakfast for everyone and it's not a bowl of cereal and toast. It's baked goods and things that require cooking."

Me - "Really. So would you like to do that at our house?" (I'm thinking to myself, "Wow. I'm not sure that I'd want that responsibility.")

B3 - "NO."

She went on to share a few other details about her stay and I politely listened. I didn't ask too many questions as sometimes that backfires and I don't get near the amount of information I'd like.

After dinner I was sorting some paperwork in the kitchen and B3 asked if I had a cookbook of just breakfast foods. I don't have such a cookbook but I found a couple that had a nice selection of baked goods and breakfast style dishes for her to look at. (My thoughts were, "Hmm. Wonder what this is about?")

After she'd spent some time thoroughly reading through them she asked me if I had several of the ingredients in the pantry. If I didn't have something that was called for, she'd keep reading recipes, find another one that interested her and ask again. After about 30 minutes she announced that she'd be doing some baking this weekend. She'd like to make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Breakfast Cookies. OK by me, great idea!

Yep. It was a good trip.


Sarah said...

Sounds like you might have a future baking fiend in the family! That's nice that she was able to get some perspective :-)

JC Mom said...

I'd like the breakfast cookie recipe...

Anonymous said...

10 kids - that is crazy! I was just talking to a co-worker about how it seems like everyone is only have one child at the most two now.

my 10 year old makes some serious pancakes - all on her own.

Kate said...

So will you be planning more trips for her there in the future?

I think that's awesome that her eyes were open to a different perspective and I'm sure new-found appreciation for all you do and her life at home.

Michele @ Frugal Granola said...

Haha! :) That's great! :)
It sounds like she has some wonderful friends. :)


Jill said...

It seems like other people can sometimes teach our children so much better than we can. Not because we don't try to teach or that we are bad teachers but because we are their parents! They don't always listen to us but when someone else that they respect tells them, or better yet, when they experience it themselves, they suddenly "get it."

And hey, you get some baking out of it! Fresh perspective and cookies - not a bad combo!