The first carload of Boy Scouts had left my house minutes earlier, bound for our three-day wilderness trip. As I backed my own van load of Scouts out of my garage, I noticed a pair of hiking boots on the back steps, so I stopped to retrieve them.
An hour later, we caught up with the first car, which was parked at a highway rest stop. Seeing me pull up, my assistant Scout leader rolled down his window. "Your wife just called on my cell phone," he said. "She asked if you knew anything about the plumber's boots that were on your back steps."
I was leaving for a two-day conference, and my seven-year-old daughter, Katherine, was becoming overly clinging and teary.
I was mystified at her emotional reaction until I heard her say to my husband, "Daddy, I have a loose tooth. If it falls out while Mommy is gone, do you know how to handle this tooth fairy thing?"
The parents in our cycling group were discussing the subject of teenagers and their appetites. Most agreed that teenagers would eat anything, anywhere and at any time. Some were concerned that such appetites always made it hard to judge when you should feed them because they were always grazing.
A veteran parent of six children told us of his method for judging the true hunger of teenagers.
"I would hold up a piece of cold, cooked broccoli, and if they were jumping and snapping at it, I figured they were hungry enough to be fed."
Little Johnny complained to Mother that he had a stomachache.
His mother told him it was because his stomach was empty and that he would feel better if he had something in it.
That afternoon the minister called, and in the conversation, he remarked that he had a headache. Little Johnny perked up.
"That's because it's empty," he said. "You'd feel better if you had something in it."