Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!
We went to church this morning. It was kinda boring, as it usually is. The pastor had a lot to say about things that didn’t make a lot of sense, but… I think his heart’s in the right place. It can’t be easy trying to pastor a congregation where there are so many different people and personalities. Like mine!!!
But it’s nice when all the old ladies give you a hug and ask you how you are, and tell you you’re a sweet girl. And sometimes they even have cookies in the foyer, which is nice. Or is it a narthex? Dave taught me that word. There are so many weird words in church. It’s not a bad place… just a bit boring sometimes.
In fact, the pastor actually asked me how it could be less boring. I told him I’d have to think about it. I mean, there are certainly ways it could be less boring. Skydiving off that big ol’ cross? Hahaha!!! But I think he meant less boring in a churchy way, which is boring but not churchy boring. Or something like that. I wish… they’d use words I could understand. We’re not all theology majors!!! Right?
But it’s also kind of lame when they start trying to be “relevant”. That just leads to “rapping for Jesus”, which is the most cringe thing ever!!! Ewww!!! Hahaha!!!
Maybe… they could just tell me why I should believe?
Anyway… I’m sure you didn’t want to hear about that. You wanted to hear about Jack!!! Well…
Okay. After church, his mother messaged me and asked me to come over.
I was… ummm…. nervous, obviously. I know I didn’t do anything wrong, but what did he tell her? Did she know that? I mean, I’ve never seen him lie, but…
Anyway, I went over, and I took Sabby too. Because, quite honestly, if I’m going to have a confrontation with his mother, I’m not going unarmed. His mother seemed a bit surprised. I just said “I don’t know why you called me here, and quite honestly, I don’t know if I’m going to need support.”
His mother shook her head. “No, no. Nothing like that.” Jack was sitting on the couch looking a bit sullen. We sat down. “I’m not going to always be able to settle your disputes, but Jack here -” she looked over at him – “Is being a bit of a child, and if he’s going to act like a child I’m going to treat him like one. So he tells me that you had a flat last night?”
“And that you were able to replace the tire and get home safely?”
I nodded again.
“Well, Jack, why don’t you tell her what you told me?”
Jack turned red, but stayed silent.
“Yes, Jack,” I said. “I’d like to know why you’re so mad at me.”
He sighed. “I’m supposed to be the boy, and I didn’t even know how to fix a tire.”
“What do you mean, you’re supposed to be the boy?”
“I… I didn’t feel like a man when you fixed the tire and told me to just watch.”
I sighed. “So what do you want me to do? Just stay by the side of the road and pretend I don’t know how to do it while you fumble around and maybe get hurt? Oh, I do declare!”, I said, and exaggeratedly fainted on the couch, “How could little ol’ me know how to fix a tire?”
Sabby choked off a giggle.
“Well, if you’re going to be like that, Lily,” he said, his voice raising slightly.
His mother raised her hand. “Well, what do you want her to do about it, Jack? She knew how to do it and you didn’t.”
He deflated. “It just makes me feel… like I can’t take care of you.”
“Why do you think you need to take care of me?,” I asked.
His father spoke up. “That’s what men do,” he said quietly. “We take care of our women. And we don’t like it when we can’t.”
I think I get it now.
“Well, we like taking care of our men too,” I said quietly. “Sometimes you’re going to take care of me, and sometimes I’ll take care of you. Is it so bad that sometimes that means I’ll do light car repairs?”
He sighed. “I… I guess not. How can I take care of you if I can’t even change a tire?”
I blushed. I certainly wasn’t going to say the first thing that popped into mind. I settled for the second.
“You… you buy me chocolate, Jack.”
“That’s not taking care of you!”
“Jack, you know how much I like chocolate. If I had to choose between you and chocolate… I’d choose you, but I’d always be fantasizing about the other food getting in between us.”
“But you buy me chocolate because you know how much I like it. That’s taking care of me. You do fine. But sometimes I’ll take care of you and you have to let me and not get upset about it.”
“Why don’t the two of you take a walk, and we’ll chat with Sabby for a while?”
So we did. Sabby loves Grace anyway and Grace wanted to show her a drawing, so it worked out.
It was a nice day.
I told him the…. other ways he takes care of me, and that if he learns how to change a tire I’ll let him do it next time (because quite frankly I’m actually happier sitting in the passenger seat eating chocolate while he does all the work) and he needs to not get upset with me when I know how to do something he can’t, because I know how to do lots of things he can’t. Like I can make chocolate, and do car repairs, and build small electronic gadgets, and accounting for my business, and basic money management, and frankly I could probably beat up anyone he needed me to. But he can… be Jack.
That’s all I need him for.
But of course if he wants to learn how to do things I can’t, he should.
Like playing the trombone.
I can’t play the trombone.
But I guess I can see why he might feel inferior.
I don’t want him to feel inferior.
We’re okay for now. He knows he was being immature. And I probably could have handled it a little bit better – I just took charge and could have been a bit more sensitive of his feelings. I mean, I could have taught him how to do it, but let him actually do the work. He still might have been upset but at least he would have felt like he was doing something. but.. we’re seventeen. I guess we’ll be immature sometimes. I know I can be.
And he is a little traditional. I knew that. I’m not going to stop being a smart and capable girl. I just am. But… he needs for me to need him. I guess… I guess I understand that.
But I do need him. I really do.
I have a lot going for me. I’m… through no fault of my own, pretty much independently wealthy at the moment. I could go to any college I want (that would have me). I can play piano, I can speak some Japanese, I can do martial arts, I can make chocolate… I can even ride horses. I’m not going to say I’d trade it all for Jack, because I wouldn’t. But… but I want him there with me. And he’ll find that thing he can do that I can’t, and it will make both of us stronger.
I hope… this doesn’t become a problem again.
But it’s okay now. So there’s that, I guess.