It’s a tradition.
Every Friday morning my husband takes our nine-year-old son to school and lets me sleep in a bit. I am sorry, teachers, that I am not awake to dress him on Fridays. His Dad gives him free reign in his wardrobe choices for the day, which is pretty distracting for you, I’m sure. But teachers, you will just have to deal with the wardrobe mistakes because something very special happens on Friday mornings. Dad and son leave for school early and stop at Chick-fil-a for breakfast. These two strong-willed, yet predictable creatures of habit order the same thing every week and for my son, that means a chicken biscuit and chocolate milk.
I do not allow him to put chocolate in his milk at home, but remember I get to sleep in…
They try to sit in the same spot every week, near a group of men who meet in the corner talking politics and solving the problems of the economy over breakfast. They call themselves the RODEO Club, which stands for Retired Old Doctors Eating Out. My husband hopes that one day he will be asked to join their club, but that will have to wait, because he has only seven and a half more years of Chick-fil-a Fridays before our son leaves for college. That is roughly 390 Friday mornings left to connect and bond with this son, to teach, listen, advise, and guide. These precious moments are counting down and one day his Friday mornings will be spent elsewhere.
Dad allows him to open the discussion with all the important things of being a fourth grade boy—football, his latest Minecraft accomplishments, the something funny that happened in class and how he’s recently decided girls may not be as bad as he once thought. Then the topic usually turns to science, the thing they both love most in the world.
Next to me…Right…?
They discuss chemistry, string theory, the laws of thermodynamics, and why Steven Hawking is just plain wrong about some things. At times, they enter into the RODEO political discussions of why Washington D.C. is just plain wrong about most everything.
Dear Lord, my head would fall into my breakfast yogurt if I had to endure these topics of conversation.
Unlike me, my husband is methodical, patient and consistent. Over breakfast, he usually finds a way to draw out the things that bother this boy—the rejection by a friend at school or how his time around the track was slower than the others yesterday at P.E. Sometimes he gives advice to deal with the struggles. Other times he just listens, but he always points him to Christ.
He does not preach over chicken biscuits and chocolate milk. That’s not his job. Most often he does not mention the name of Jesus or quote scripture on Chick-fil-a Fridays. He doesn’t have to every time. He points him to Christ by loving him, listening to him, giving him wise counsel, and showing interest in how God made this boy. He points him to Christ by living in Christ day in and day out for this boy to see, this boy who wants nothing more than to be like his father.
I am not able to enter into their world of science, politics, and video games on Friday mornings. It’s definitely a no girls allowed club. That’s fine with me. I would ruin it all, interrupting with my table manner lessons and trying to talk him out of the chocolate milk. I do take him to the ballet, though, make him read the classics, and practice piano. My heart soars when we enter into basic theological discussions on creation, redemption and the purpose of man. He surprises me, challenges me, and sharpens me with his questions. I am watching him form opinions on who God is and who he is in response.
Sometimes I wonder who is teaching who here.
If you know me, you know I may be a touch competitive. I also know there are limited opportunities for me to influence and grow this son in Christ. Perhaps I should schedule Theology Thursdays with him over granola and green tea, complete with matching shirt and pants.
There has to be balance in the world, you know.