“Oh, sure we will, Basden. I copied that song on my laptop, and we can listen to it anytime.”
Engrossed in a spread of baseball cards, Branson piped up from the next room, “Hey Mom, isn’t that illegal?”
I mumbled some sort of answer and avoided his question, hoping RBIs and home runs and win/loss records would keep his mind on baseball and off of me.
Of course I knew it was illegal. Kinda. Just one song. I’d thought through it, for oh, about five seconds, before I burned the CD. I didn’t even like the other songs, but that one jingle - Six Licorice Sticks - summoned delight and giggles in my girls.
And after all, it was just a library CD. Kind of scratched up already, and Karen Harper would never know - or probably care.
But Bran’s comment buzzed around my brain like an annoying horsefly, loud and bothersome and too big to ignore.
So returning home from dinner, I promptly opened Itunes.
“Hey Bran, come here.” He peeked around the corner of my desk and plopped down in front of my laptop, mesmerized as always by a computer screen flowing with music files.
“I owe you an apology, B. You were exactly right about it being illegal to download that CD. I knew it was wrong, but convinced myself it didn’t matter.”
We continued on for a minute, Bran shrugging his shoulders, not too concerned with Mommy yet again righting a wrong. But I’m counting on the fact that he heard my words and will remember me pressing that delete button. And that even 36-year-old Mommies who know what integrity is supposed to look like have to be reminded at times that it really does matter - even when we think others aren’t looking.
Interestingly, Branson and I have been memorizing a verse in Matthew this week together.
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! Matthew 25:23
A few days ago we wrote this verse on a little notecard and talked through the importance of being honest and responsible in the little areas. Like not taking his Ipod to a birthday party when I’d asked him not to. Or when Dad says sure to getting a couple of Milk Duds, he doesn't mean emptying half the box when we’re not looking. I wanted Bran to understand that if I can trust him in little things like Ipods and Milk Duds, then I can trust him in bigger ways, and it ultimately broadens his freedom.
So the lesson comes full circle, and I get a simple, knee-jerk reminder from my nine-year-old that I, perhaps even more so, am responsible for integrity in the little things.
Lord, thank you for sharp reminders that the way I handle “little” things indeed matter. People see, and more important, You see. And most important to my heart at this point, my nine-year-old sees.