Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Life lessons at the pizza place.

Grandma and Grandpa came and took us out for pizza last night. The boys decided on "Happy Joes." I would have been fine going to "Happy" anything after a long day of trying to figure out how to restore my internet. Its intermittent at best right now, but one way to figure out a lot more about your computer set-up is to be on the phone with tech support for a few hours a day. I can now identify and dismantle and re-register my router and modem without flinching. Its funny how our lessons come to us in life. I wouldn't have purposefully signed up for any tech classes to learn this stuff. But I had to be open to at least trying, or sit and wait for a week till Rick got home to fix it. Now what would have been a 5 minute task for Rick, literally took me hours to work through. But I seem to have figured it out, and will feel more comfortable the next time something like this happens.

Nolan got an unexpected lesson last night too. One of the draws of Happy Joe's is the games for the kids. Its like Chuck E Cheese, minus Chuck. Plus, the pizza is pretty good. So its nice having the boys at an age where they can play games and be entertained and the adults can sit and eat and talk. Nolan has become fairly proficient at some of the games and knows how to get maximum tickets out of some of them. But there was another boy who seemed to have a golden parachute. The first time the alarm sounded I had to check for myself. He had gotten the ball to go in the "firehole" for the grand prize of 1000 tickets! It caused quite a commotion. Nolan stood in rapt silence as the machine spit out its treasure amongst the clanging bells and shrill sirens. It was something akin to winning the "free" game of mini-golf by hitting the ball into the mouth of the clown, when I was young. Somehow I was convinced I could win each and every time we played, while still somehow knowing that between the slant of the boards and the size of the hole, I didn't really stand much of a chance.

And yet, here was this boy, winning all the loot and making Nolan's efforts seem grossly inept with the measly 50 or so tickets he would collect. Nolan, having spent the last of his money, sat in awe of this boy's moves that procured him so many prizes. As we were leaving, the commotion started again. The bells were ringing and the sirens were blaring. I hurried in to see the same boy, collecting yet again, another windfall of tickets. The young employee, quickly went to assess the situation and upon seeing the same boy winning the same game, summoned management. Nolan disappeared. I found him all the way outside, standing next to the car, suddenly more than ready to go. I could see it in his downturned face. He knew the boy was in trouble. He caught on to the fact that the boy had been somehow cheating the game. Nolan asked a multitude of questions about what was going to happen to the boy. Grandma and I assured Nolan the consequences would be great. And yet, Nolan didn't seem relieved by my assurances that the boy would be punished.

At bed time last night, he fessed up. He was feeling guilty and conflicted. He seemed to know the boys efforts weren't honest attempts, and yet he couldn't get past wanting what that boy had. And yet, I didn't have to ask Nolan how it might feel to be in the shoes of that boy, I think Nolan took those shoes for a walk. While he struggled with wanting and temptation, admittedly, I am relieved that at least the "shoes" felt uncomfortable to him. They weren't a good fit. His gut was telling him. I told him to trust his gut.


  1. Thank you Libby, I'll bet your head swims with these moments with your own kids! I can only imagine :)

  2. Something Nolan will always remember Vicky...These lessons stick with are such a good mom, it's pretty awesome that at bed time he talked to you about it...

  3. Robin, I was just thinking how lucky I am that he still does tell me and talk to me about these things. I hope he never stops, but I know in my heart my days of knowing may be fewer and fewer in the future.

  4. I love your line "Nolan took those shoes for a walk." Pure poetry. What a GREAT thing to have been so tempted (who the heck WOULDN'T be?) but then to see how that kid's choices played out. You couldn't have PLANNED that better if you had aided and abetted. You have instilled a great conscience in him, Vicky.

    And GOOD JOB! for all your techy learning. Maybe now you can teach me something.....uh.....never mind. I love you too much to put you through THAT. lol


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