Flashback Friday – We have a Volunteer!

**Every Friday I reach back into my archives and share a post that you might have missed. This post originally ran Jan 14, 2008.


Last week, I kicked our 8 year old out of the family. I’d had enough of his whining and complaining. I was done arguing with him, so he was out.

He said: “I hate doing schoolwork. I wish school didn’t exist. I don’t want to work. I just want to play, and I hate this family.”

When he said “I hate this family. I didn’t ask to be part of this stupid family. This wasn’t my idea,” I picked him up, carried him out onto the front porch, and locked the door behind him.

We have other children, what’s one more or less?

After giving it some thought, I opened the door and handed him his shoes. I figured that he might need them on his way to his new life. He wasn’t mine anymore, but that was no reason for him to be barefoot in the cold.

The boy who was no longer my son sat on the curb and wailed and cried at the top of his lungs. I’m not sure he was really that heart-broken, he was mad, and when he gets mad he wails. He’s always been a wailer, but it has gotten better as he has gotten older. Maybe by the time he’s 50, he won’t do it anymore.

My next door neighbor called me and said, “Why is he sitting on the curb and crying?”

“Because I kicked him out of our family.”

“Oh, alright.”

Have I mentioned that I love my neighbor? She thinks my parenting style is amusing rather than abusive.

A bit later, he came and knocked on the door and said, “I’m ready to be part of our family again.”

I brought him in and announced to his siblings, “We have our very first voluntary family member. The rest of you got stuck with us, but he chose us out of all the families in the world.” The other children, sharing their mother’s sense of humor, cheered, whistled, and clapped. They welcomed him back into the fold.

Just as I was patting myself on the back for my good parenting skills, he looked up at me and said, “Don’t get too excited, Mom. I just couldn’t figure out how to get to anyone else’s house.”

Sounds like love to me!

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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