First … Thanks SO much for the very interesting comments on Wednesday’s post (Turned Tables – One Family’s Take on Dating) . Here at the MOAT, we’re in the works on putting together a panel (that would include Kyle & Lucina) to discuss the very pertinent issue staring us in the face. Would any of you be interested in a Dallas brown bag lunch? We’ll film it and post it so interested parties who can’t attend can still glean from the sage advice, even ask questions via email, etc.  I’d love your comments on that. … If it works we could float a few other pertinent topics at another gathering.

We’ve had so much going on, it has been a bit of a challenge to focus on our lesson for September –


I’d like for each of them to first-hand taste the hosting a party. They can choose the size, type and venue. A budget of $50 will be allowed to cover expenses and invitation costs (if they choose to send something via our postman Walter).

I know this might be more enjoyable for some, a challenge for others, and a major pain for one … but I still think it’s worth knowing how to host people.

There are two major lessons I want them to learn.

1) Hospitality gets your eyes off yourself and onto others. This is always a good thing – no matter your age.
2) Hospitality is always welcomed. Sometimes people use all kinds of excuses to avoid hosting. “My house is too small.” “I can’t cook.” “We don’t have anything fun to do.” yadda, yadda, yadda…. Well, get over that. People love to be included and enjoy fellowship. If someone’s petty enough to dis your party, they must really need some loving.

So, each kid will be serving up some fun. It may seem like a crazy topic, but I really want them to know first hand (not just watching us, but doing) the in’s and out’s of hosting. Maybe it might help them keep their eyes focused out instead of in.

I’ve had my doubts as to whether they can all do this task. I’ve even thought the topic a bit inconsequential. But if I consider things I want them to learn before leaving our house, this would be one of them.

I was encouraged Monday.

Teen Take-Out and I were driving home. The kid, by the way, is raising the idea of “take-out” to a new level … not only is any item made in our kitchen deemed inedible, frozen items are now taboo. He claims Pizza Hut fires up a frozen pie instead of hand-tossing a fresh crust, so a meat-lover’s pan pizza is out … probably a good thing for his arteries in the future – but that’s another story!

Needless to say, we’re in the car, yet again, dealing “stuff”. Why everything happens in the car, I’ll never know. It must be the captive audience thing.

“So …  do you think I’d look good in a Porsche?” he asks nonchalantly.

I look up from driving. We’re headed down Northwest Highway. I’m sure this is a deja-vu dream. It has to be. Is this not the conversation that started it all??!!  (See Ready, Set, Go … the MOAT’s 1st entry)

“Work hard in school and you can get what you want. … Of course, I hope by that point you won’t care what kind of car you drive.”
“Yeah … I’ll want a Porsche for sure … and a Rolex.”
“What?!! … I think you’re a little off on what’s important.” I say, while thinking, “HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING THE LAST 6 MONTHS?!!!”
“Look .. there’s the car I want right there…. and there.”
Sure enough there were 2 lovely Porches. One on our right, one on our left.
We were a Porsche sandwich. Yippee. (not!)

So he’s a boy. That for sure is part of it. He’s in middle school, not sure of who he is… in his world a blingy car can shoot you up a few notches on the cool scale. … He’ll grow out of it, I’m sure.

Today, though, I didn’t care so much. We were driving home from a ditched trip to Costco. (Who knew they vacationed on Labor Day with the rest of the country?) We, like so many others, had driven to the parking lot only to discover a huge “CLOSED” sign. A bit sad, we were headed out and noticed someone having car trouble.

I stopped, rolled down the window and learned the little group was out of gas and stuck. We offered to help and take the driver to the closest station then bring him back. After accepting, he and his wife (who we later find out is 3 months pregnant) start pushing their car out of the way.

Who jumps out or our car to help? … to make sure the wife could be steering instead of pushing?

You guessed it, TTO. Without so much as a word or moan, he went to work and pushed the car out of the way. Shook hands and walked the man to our car.

(Aaaahhh … still savoring the moment.)

Come to find out that the guy who needed gas was helping his friend move. They were having so much fun catching up, he had forgotten to look at his gas gauge. So, I guess one good deed deserved another that day.

More than anything, though. As I endured the “Porsche” now turned “Rolex” conversation for the ga-zillionth time, I chose to consider the selfless act of help the kid dished earlier rather than the mind-numbing “want” list. I choose to rest in the silver lining and look forward to the day (that I hope comes sooner rather than later) his desires becoming grounded in truth rather than lecture (or “nag” as he now tells me) about the other.

Thanks for walking the road with me. It can be bumpy some days :)

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