I estimate there were at least four lunches, and about ten tupperware containers. Inside those containers were half eaten sandwiches, untouched apple slices, some leftover taco meat, and an unopened package of string cheese.
“What DO you eat at lunch?” I asked, suspicious.
There was a Hot Lunch Incident earlier this year in which she threw away the lunches I sent and told her teacher I didn’t make one for her. Lies! All of it! She just wanted to eat the “free” hot lunch at school.
I discovered this fraudulent behavior when I received a bill for $25 and a strongly worded letter about feeding my child. Okay, well, there was actually no strongly worded letter, but this was the judgment I imagined everyone at the school was feeling toward me.
So when I see half eaten sandwiches, untouched apple slices, some leftover taco meat, and an unopened package of string cheese, there are questions.
But IF I am to believe that my daughter is, indeed, no longer stealing from the school district, this now begs the question, Why are you wasting my food?!
I am tempted to let her buy hot lunches using her own money. This has great potential to backfire on me, but in my imagination she’ll realize the value of her money and how it translates to the value of the food she’s wasting.
I’ve already started this lesson a bit.
Ruthie likes to draw on things – my walls, the car, her body, whatever. She’s destined to be a tattoo artist. Or graffiti artist. Or a member of a chain gain working off a minor misdemeanor charge for vandalism.
The last time she wrote on her pants I made her pay me a dollar for all the extra work I’d have to put into cleaning them. (You know, cuz sometimes the handle on the Spray-n-Wash bottle gets jammed and it’s a real pain in the neck). She slumped in her chair a little, but she didn’t argue.
I think she got the message.
Ruthie’s not the only one learning a lesson, though. I make every attempt to control her conscience, to dictate how she feels and responds, to make her GET THE MESSAGE.
But I can’t. I’m not the Holy Spirit. And seven years into this parenting thing, I’m finally getting it.
I can teach her discernment and shepherd her heart, but in the end she makes her own choices. And since that’s the scariest thing I can imagine as a control freak, I’m left to trust Jesus with her heart and her future.