The Beauty of Responsibility

Ruby is sitting across from me.  A frown creases her heart-shaped face.  She’s toiling at math homework.  She’d much rather be playing with her stuffed monkeys, Curious George and Coffee.

“What’s 13 take away 5?” she asks.

I sit in silence.  I want her to wrestle with it a little.

“What’s 13 take away 10?” I counter.

She thinks for a moment.

“Three!” she shouts.  From there, she backtracks to the original problem.  She’s in math tutoring to get her rote adding and subtraction skills up to state standards.  She’s not far behind, but I feel her pain.

She hates doing homework.  She wants to play. She tells me over and over.  It’s not fair!  Happy place, happy place…

“Got news for you, Ruby.  Everybody wants to play.  All the time,” I tell her.

And it’s true.  Being responsible is the great killjoy of adulthood.  Paying bills, doing laundry, washing dishes, filling the gas tank (a chore I rather loathe), and on and on, world without end.  Raising kids is a series of making decisions and teaching.  It’s being the grown-up when you’d much rather let them watch TV all day and stuff themselves with junk food.  Okay, maybe sometimes I *do* the things in the last sentence.  But most of the time I fix vegetables and  monitor TV time.

If you’ve ever seen “Joe Vs. The Volcano”, you get a sense of adulthood’s monotony.  Adults work to stay afloat.  Rent comes due every month.  Eating food keeps us alive, and we have to pay for it (usually).  Taxes.  Need I say more?  It’s depressing.  This is why so many adults long to be kids again, playing and fancy-free, no worries to tie them down.

I say being an adult gives you more choices.  You choose to take care of your duties and it leaves you time to play. Zac is just now getting this.  Do your schoolwork and then fire up the computer games. Working to the best of your abilities at everything you do honors God and your employer.  You can have a good attitude about your work and it changes your life. Ultimately, He rewards the diligent.

The ability to choose wisely is an adult trait.  Maturity comes with great rewards.  You learn to invest your time and effort.  You find better ways to do things, time-saving measures and ways to cut costs. You figure out you can put work off in order to take advantage of a fun opportunity now, knowing you’ll pick up the chores/errands/yoke later.  Maturity takes time, however.  You fail and then you get back up.  You say something stupid and pay the price.  Then you learn to keep your mouth shut.  You run out of gas by the side of the road or push your car into Coburg (!) and you get the idea that your car doesn’t run on fumes. Maturity creates a freedom you can only dream of in childhood.

My work complete, I must go. I’ll have time later to vacuum and do laundry.   Now, I need to see a girl about some stuffed monkeys.





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