Now the Gatekeeper is a single mom trying to raise a teenage boy. And a lovely boy it is. This child will bang on his drums till the symbols crack and has attached his Ipod to very, and we should say very again and again, loud speakers. Yes, the once peaceful neighborhood has fallen into a sound trap: Avenge Sevenfold, Kutless amongst others.
Of course, said child, is also very moody which does him well when the director screams action. Have you seen my young Prince in Iron Man yet? Oh please do not blink, he only received about 10 seconds of face time for two weeks of work. Of course, the paycheck was reward enough. Not to mention the fun he had with all those stunt men.
In any case, back to the neighborhood. Young Prince has had a few difficulties with boy next door. Once upon a time they were friends. But for reasons we should probably not mention here they have begun to feud. Perhaps it is the different lifestyles -- one is a skaterboy, the other a rapper -- which, of course, should not be a factor for church-going boys. Nonetheless, there we are, enemies, rivals whatever the case may be.
Young Prince L. has had his share of participating in boyish pranks including "ding dong ditch," throwing watermelon rinds over the fence, accidentally skating into neighbor's trash cans, throwing dirt against garage door and scaring their little girls with a Halloween mask (on Halloween night). Oy, what is a mother to do. Lady Gatekeeper has talked with moody Prince and asked for help from pastors but alas, once the Prince has been provoked he does tend to lash out. It seems that now, when something goes wrong in the neighborhood it will be forever more blamed on the Prince.
I take no issue with neighbors to the right for defending their son, as will I defend mine. When the two began to argue and fists began to fly adults next door decided to fling open my door and order me to stop it. Or something like that. Voices were raised to young Prince and words were said by neighbor that will be engraved in Prince's heart forever.
"Boy, you are headed down the wrong path. Punk! You're not worth it!"
So there we are, a little lost, much sadness, and a boy who has been accused by the adults around him once again. He has admitted to me of certain pranks but he cannot understand why everything is blamed on him. Even when he was not here (he was away with his father) were accusations flung his way.
Nonetheless, instead of taking this any further young Prince and I have discussed what The Lord would require of us. I have told him to wipe the words that hurt away. That throwing stuff onto neighbor's property is never a good idea but that it will not lead him to hell.
Each day as we drive to school young Prince reads out loud a chapter from God's Word. We begin with Philippians. Not an easy pill to swallow . . .
Chapter 1: 9 ". . . that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10) so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ."
Chapter 1:21 "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."
Chapter 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
All this to say, young Prince needs lots of love and a good male role model (which btw neighbor boy seems to have from their church) and a little bit of understanding from the adults in his life. We surely do need to stop talking "AT" him and start talking with him.
"Finally brothers, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
Book of the Month
Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat.