Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nope, let me change that - Digger Man

Caleb really enjoys checking out the men and their machines at construction sites. So while we were driving home, passing yet another construction site where a real live "Scoop" machine was working, he asked me, "Mama, can I be a digger man? I wanna ride Scoop and dig big holes." What is a mother to say?

First, I would love to encourage my son in all his pursuits. But I would also like to keep him from being a hamburger flipper at the local fast food joint for the rest of his life (can I hear an "amen"?). I want him to be secure in a job that can provide for his family. Do I want him to be a successful businessman? What about retirement benefits? Does college automatically insure a quality of life otherwise lost to digger men? Hmmm...

The bible is silent on what is a good job and what is not. Of course I would never want him running the local mafia group, but then I think the whole Thou Shalt Not Steal (or that other one about murder) pretty much nails that case closed. It does however, say that we are to do all things for the glory of the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:31). I think if we had workers, both blue and white collar, who were more concerned about doing their jobs to the glory of the Lord we would ALL see a huge difference. It is not difficult to imagine just a few examples of how our world fails to meet a quality of excellence because people were not willing to put their 100% into their job. Selfishness is the biggest inhibitor. Sacrificing the time and energy it takes to be good takes selflessness. You have to be willing to make your employer rich while accepting the wage he gives you (which is often substantially LESS than the profit he is making off of your work). You have to be willing to use discernment to understand when you might need to stay late to make sure the report is done correctly. You must accept your approval from a source other than your co-workers and sometimes even your boss. People like to shirk responsibility with others. If you are pulling your load you can bet others watching you are going to feel convicted, and angry. "How dare you make me look bad" is a statement often times expressed by an outraged worker who has the hand of God-given guilt upon them. And even business owners who want to deal shrewdly, and immorally with clients will get their noses bent out of shape by your integrity. But...

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7b)

So what do I want for my son? I want him to be a mighty representative for the Lord. In whatever he does I want him to have a joy that comes from a passion for Christ. I would love it if that could include something he enjoys (although we are not guaranteed job happiness in scripture). And so, for now, I am going to encourage my little boy's pursuits in whatever direction he chooses (minus the mafia).

"Of course you can be a digger man, Caleb."

Sigh, "thank you, mama, for letting me be a worker man."

Thank you, Caleb, for reminding me that it really isn't about the prestige of having the "right" job.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Band Man

We went to the Monterey County Fair for my 32nd birthday - August 15th for those of you wondering - and as a result, Caleb has completely redirected his life. He wants to be a Band Man. Specifically, he wants to play the banjo, like a particular band man he saw at the fair. He is quite smitten. The musician, Charlie Hurley, made my son's year by giving him a CD. We now listen to it daily. Perhaps Caleb can inspire future firefighters during their long and arduous battles with his pleasant tunes upon one of his numerous banjos. He still wants to go back to the firehouse. And he asks me daily if I remember him going in the first place. When I assure him I do remember he says, "Hmm, Mama?"
"Yes, Caleb?"
"I want to be a band man."

Monday, August 14, 2006

In Case You Were Wondering

While I was writing my previous post on our trip to the firehouse, I through it would be neat if I could include a link to the Carmel City Fire Department. I did a quick search on trusty Google for Carmel Fire, and while nothing specific to the actual firehouse came up, the following caught my eye. Take a look.

In case you were wondering... Carmel City Firehouse is putting together a cook off at the Carmel Farmer's Market on August 26th. The Market is open from 7:30am until 11am. According to the blurb on the website, firefighters are going to put together their favorite firehouse recipes for our enjoyment. I thought this would be a GREAT way to reintroduce the firehouse to Caleb. And he would get to see his friend, Captain Bruce! I emailed Christopher the info to see what he thought of it. He agreed it sounded like a blast! Perfect, just check a few details, get my ducks in a row, cross my "t"s and dot my "i"s, ad nauseum...

Umm, slight problem. I don't recognize the location from the MapQuest map. I figured it must be on the outskirts of the city where I am not as familiar with street names. I think, "I will just zoom out until I see Ocean or Carpenter. That way, I will have some bearing on where exactly we need to go." I scroll out. This is what I see.

Yup. Carmel, INDIANA. Needless to say, we won't be able to make it to the cook off.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


We have officially trumped Caleb's interest in fires and firefighting. How so, you might ask? Simple... get really excited yourself about showing him a firehouse, buy him a special firefighter outfit complete with his own name, and make special plans to have a privately guided tour through one of the neatest firehouses on the peninsula!

We visited the Carmel City Firehouse on Saturday, July 30th for over an hour. An old family friend is a captain for the station and he personally showed us in, and around, this neat historic building. We got to climb into engines, check out the equipment, and even hang out inside an ambulance. Hannah has decided, as a result of her conversation with "Tall Dave", the paramedic, that she wants to study medicine, too. Bethany wore a real fire helmet, and Leah learned how the blue uniform shirt firefighters wear on duty looks like it is buttoned but actually is made with snaps! Mary was content to be held, cuddled and loved. So what about Caleb? This was, after all, HIS special birthday treat.

He whined. He fussed. He simply refused to really engage in any of it. Our dear friend, Bruce, cajoled, begged, pleaded, manipulated and bribed him to take a picture with him. We had hoped Caleb would become more interested in his own fire outfit once he saw the real thing - we were wrong. We thought maybe Caleb would want to really check out the inside of the fire engines since he is so fascinated with them on the street - we were wrong. We figured he would be enthralled with a real firefighter, and want to try on his gear and helmet - once again, wrong.

He did enjoy the trip and was not scared of the firehouse. He repeated over and over again how much he liked Bruce. He would blurt out, "I like you." It was usually expertly timed right when we had all given up hope of engaging him in anything. He was fascinated by the fire gear... on Bruce. But even with the visit not following our Hollywood script we all had a really neat time. It was awesome to see how the children recognized the danger these men and women place themselves in for our benefit. I really appreciated how much "Tall Dave" explained and talked to Hannah on her level. None of the children felt slighted or patronized. All the firefighters were genuinely willing to share this passion they have for helping others with my small brood. And Christopher was able to relive a lifelong dream of going to a firehouse and checking out all the cool "stuff".

Oh, one more thing, as soon as we got home, Caleb informed us that he wants to go back! Of course.