Forgetting a boy is ‘small stuff’

By Kristina Beers

Special to the Pioneer

With a bustling family of boys, I do my fair share of running around. Only last night did we have to declare to the children, “No more trips to GR this week!!” (We took five in four days.) Needless to say, sometimes things get lost in the shuffle.

One of those things, this past week, was our actual son. He has a job at the local hardware store, but he’s just shy of 16 and doesn’t have a driver’s license. Typically, he rides in with his older brother who works at the same place and we don’t have to be overly concerned with transportation. Well, after arriving home from a late meeting, I chatted with my husband in the garage as he was tinkering around.

After a few minutes, I looked around and said, “Oh, you must have sent [Beers boy No. 3] to get [Beers boy No. 5].”

He got wide-eyed for a moment, wiped his hands, and said, “Um … I’m leaving right now.”

It was already 30 minutes past closing time.

Pair this with the fact the youngest Beers boy does not own a cell phone, I could only imagine what must have been going through his head. He seemed pretty calm when they arrived home and only pressed us once about getting a phone. We made lots of jokes about forgetting him. In fact, one of the older brothers, when he heard about it, sent me a text that said, “That’s awesome!” I guess teasing younger siblings never gets old.

Truthfully, I don’t feel very guilty about that incident. I trust my child to keep a level head and to assess situations, knowing how to handle himself and stay safe.

He had enough trust in us not to panic or even be angry about it at all. I personally believe it all comes with having lots of kids — you just don’t sweat the small stuff.

Believe me, being forgotten about at work is definitely small stuff. I think we all could take even a cursory peek at the news and know that there are much bigger fish to fry in the world. One could even make a case to second-guess having children at all, yet I think it’s the best thing we could ever do for our communities and our country.

If one looks around and shakes her head, thinking, “What a mess,” well, that’s a fact: Our world is a mess. So what’s the best way to counteract that? Raising children to be righteous, true, courteous, well-educated citizens, full of mirth, joy and love. Lots of them. Clearly, I’m a huge proponent of big families.

With the birth of each and every one of my boys, I learned to relax more and more, to be less “helicoptery” and to find the joy in parenting. Is it tough? Oh yeah! But it’s also a blast.

My kids get dirty, they get yelled at, they break things, they fix them. They laugh, they cry, they climb and they do really dumb things. But I don’t sweat the small stuff because to me, most everything is small potatoes. The real “stuff” of life consists in love, worship and sacrifice. For me, the lessons on true sacrifice only came about when we were outnumbered in the kid department. That’s when my survival skills had to kick in!

I am not proud that I forgot my kid, but it’s reality — too often we sugarcoat motherhood — and I’m fessing up I’m not perfect because, honestly, none of us are. It took me three kids to learn that and five to toss my hands in the air, declare I’m doing the best I can, and turn out some virtuous gentlemen for the good of our crazy world.

Kristina Beers lives in the Remus area with her husband and five sons. She shares her thoughts on parenting teenagers and young adults on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

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