With this morning's tale, I bring the Friday series of Tom Are, Jr. stories to a close. I hope that you've enjoyed them. If you're interested in hearing more of Rev. Are's stories, I invite you to check out the web site of Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, where Rev. Are is the senior pastor. The site has an archive of sermons, both printed and on audio, dating back to when Rev. Are joined the church.
And, as always, if you'd like to read the full text of this sermon, please click on the Tom Are, Jr., sermons link on the right. This story is from the sermon for Friday, August 11, 1989.
I remember… I was eight years old. My mother and father came in, and they had that serious look on their face. The one that says, “we have something very important to tell you.” It usually came right after I had done something very bad. I was a little nervous, we went into their bedroom. Mom and Dad… they were a little nervous. That was evident. They kept looking back and forth at each other. It was clear they had not rehearsed.
And then Mom finally said, “Tom. We want to tell you that you are going to have another brother or sister.”
I said, (in an “awww, man!” fashion) “Again?” I didn’t remember putting in an order for one, you know?
They said, “You’re going to have another brother or sister.”
I said, “Today?”
They said, “No! No, no, no. Not today.”
I said, “This weekend?”
“Not this weekend.”
“Well, when then?”
“Well, sometime in January.”
Well, school hadn’t even started yet, you know? It was still summer. When you’re eight years old, January may not ever get here! I said, “Why tell me now?”
She said, “We just want you to be prepared.”
All right. Well, then, pretty soon, this crib showed up in my room. I said, “Mom, very few people in the second grade are in cribs these days. You know?”
She said, “Tom, it’s not for you! It’s for the baby!”
I said, “The baby’s here?”
She said, “No, son! January!”
I said, “Mom, it’s not Thanksgiving yet.”
“We want to be prepared.”
All right. Then some real strange things started happening. They painted my room. They had never done that. They had never… even when I got the Play-Doh stuck on the wall in the corner, they didn’t even try to paint any of that… but they painted my room. And then they put these little clouds on the wall. I thought that was ridiculous. I thought that poor kid’s gonna feel like he’s falling out of an airplane his whole life!
“It’s for the baby… who’s not here.”
And then, Mom started going to other people’s homes, and having parties… for the kid! She tried to throw me off and tell me they were “showers,” but I knew the difference between a shower and a party. One I would do gladly, the other I hated! But that kid was having a party! Did they bring me anything? No! He still had four months to cook and he’s raking it in!