Iím a Vending Machine
by Crissy Jones Sharp
My children have no idea that Iím a person. To them, I fall in the category of a vending machine. They think I can answer every question, fix anything thatís broken and make all things better.
They routinely ask me questions such as: Whereís my pencil? Can I have marshmallows for snack? How do you spell awful? Can I have (insert siblingís name) toy/book/candy? Whereís my DS game? Does Daddy work today? Can we go see Nana? How much longer until itís my birthday? Whereís my toothbrush? Whatís for supper? Why canít I have my own pocket knife?
But my favorite questions are ďWhere is my (fill in the blank).Ē Since I never use their toothbrush, hairbrush, tennis shoes, math homework, stuffed animals, etc., I usually have no idea where they are. For some reason this news is astonishing to them.
Then there are the statements spoken with vague disapproval: ďThereís no Kool-Aid. I donít have any clean underwear. I canít find any socks. Gracieís coughing is bothering me.Ē
Never mind that my older kids could make their own Kool-Aid. And the reason thereís no clean ďundiesĒ is because theyíre probably in a wad under the bed. Plus I donít have a magic wand to make someone quit coughing just because itís annoying someone.
There are days when I resent the whole non-person treatment. When I could use some help and no one notices. But Iíve also come to realize that while Iím not a person to them yet, Iím actually something better. Iím a part of them. They donít distinguish themselves from me. They have a thought and must tell me. They have a need and know Iíll take care of it. They have a story and want to make sure I know about it.
My kidsí relationship with me is a lot like my relationship with God. I walk around most of the time not fully realizing God is a person, a real entity outside of me. When I need something, I expect him to provide. When I have a question, I expect him to answer me. But I really wish I was more like my kids. I wish God was the first person I ran to with a problem or story. I wish I was as comforted by Godís presence as my kids are by mine. I wish I was as dependant on Godís love for me as my little ones (and not so little ones) are with me.
Imperfect as I may be, my children still look to me. And when I look to God, I know my father is handling everything, making all things right.
Crissy Jones is a mother of four children ranging from age 5 to 13 and lives in Alabama.