I’ve written some of my best posts for the Spin Cycle, but this week’s subject – forgiveness – is making me strangely reticent. I made a conscious decision some time ago to cease writing about very personal matters on my blog if it involved
my family people other than myself, because it pisses them off for a variety of reasons. However, I feel reasonably sure one of the people in this story doesn’t even know what a blog is I can make an exception in this case.
For the last year or so, The Young One has been mowing the lawn of our next-door neighbor. They’re about 15 or so years older than us and their house – and lawn – is really too big for them, but since the housing market is in such a slump I understand why they haven’t tried to sell it (there are houses in our neighborhood that have been on the market for months). Mrs. Neighbor, a sweet and simple woman, spends a fair amount of time puttering around in the yard (Mr. Neighbor is a grump and rarely comes outside), but mowing is a little much for her. Being retired, I’m sure Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor are on a fixed income so Mrs. Neighbor tends to pay The Young One whatever she can afford, usually between $10 and $15, which we feel is a fair sum. However, she never just gives him money – she gives him stuff as well. The “stuff” is obviously items that they no longer need/use/want – jigsaw puzzles have been popular recently – but most of the time it’s candy and sodas.
Now, if you’ve been reading here any amount of time at all, you know that I banished all junk food – candy, sodas, chips, cookies, Pop Tarts, breakfast cereals, donuts, etc. ad nauseum – from our home over a year ago. The Young One really has been a great sport about it so I try not to nag him about what he eats when he’s not at home, especially considering all of his friends are junk food junkies. But this is crap being brought into our home, and I’m at a bit of a loss of how to handle it. I mean, you just don’t go up to your sweet-but-rather-dim neighbor and say, “Look lady – cut the crap. Cash only for the kid, okay?” Not that I’m too terribly concerned about the once-a-week HFCS bomb (although our diet has really done wonders for The Young One – the kid is getting seriously ripped)…at least not for my 16-year-old son.
I really and truly did not realize what kind of an effect the sight of a large Ziploc bag of jelly beans and M&Ms mixed together would have on me. Although The Young One must have, because after two handfuls I went back to the pantry where I stash this crap – the theory being “out of sight, out of mind” (and a miserable failure in this instance) – it was gone, most likely upstairs to the confines of a place I lack the nerve to traverse: his bedroom. For which I was really extremely grateful.
And this is how it’s been all summer. I’ve not been tempted further by the gummy bears, Twizzlers, lemon drops or even the box of Werther’s hard candies and all has been well…until this weekend, when the boy entered the house with $15, a can of Coke and a very large bag of some sort of gourmet caramel corn.
With candied cashews.
“GET THAT OUT OF THIS HOUSE!!!”
“That…BAG! Out! Right this minute!!”
“Oh. Okay. Should I take it to A’s house with me?”
Does the Pope wear a tall hat? PLEASE, let A’s dad deal with Satan In A Sack.
Because, God forgive me, I do not want to be guilty of stealing from my own son.