Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The least you can do is take me to Staples

Barnacle Boy is anxious to get his supplies for middle school. (We bought the basics in August to beat the rush, but there are a few specifics his teachers have asked them to bring in.) I finish class today and the phone rings as I hit my office. "Mom, can you take me to Staples when you get home?" After 9 hours without a break, the thought of standing in a 30 minute line at the office supply store is not high on my list. "Can it wait?" The short answer is no, he doesn't want to wait. All evening long, he tries to get either me or Math Man to take him. We're not biting. I finally ask to see the list, which notes that the teachers (quite reasonably) don't expect the supplies to be in hand until next Monday.

Finally, around 8, I check the New York Times and see the article about the new iPods. This has got to distract him..."Barnacle Boy, come see the new iPods!" We enjoyed checking out the new models and had a rousing discussion about whether (if you had the money) you'd buy the 4G iPhone or the 8G iPod with touch screen and Wi-Fi. Relief is short-lived. The conversation closes with, "Well, if you're not going to buy one, the least you can do is take me to Staples!"


  1. LOL! Somehow through RevGalPals, I found your blog. I'm glad, as I am almost done with a master's in theology from a Roman Catholic school, even though I am an Episcopalian! I have four children, but only one left at home, who is a senior in high school. I remember those days of being guilted by my teenagers. What helped me the most was this little prayer: "Bless_____, change me", said as a mantra until I didn't say anything angry in reply!

  2. Take me to Staples strikes me as a kind of charm for today's ethos. I need it today, I need the list, I need...
    The need may seem to be technology, or stationary 'tools', but what is the need? It is on it's surface a need to conform and fulfill expectations. Even at such a young age we see the innate pressure to be visibly 'ok' in the eyes of others. Perhaps even to be 'better' than the others.
    I would posit that this drive to satisfy, to be recognized, to fulfill expectations reveals much about what we have been designed and called to be. We know that we seek some completion, yet we know not what it must be. We crave a touch that confirms intimacy, yet we know that we are powerless to command it.
    Each of us lives out a response to a calling, limited only by our ability to accept intimacy from our Creator. The mystery is how we are given the gift of independent creation that depends on surrendering ourselves to a more perfect Love.