Caleb puts the last charcoal-gray lego on the wing of his Millennium Falcon. The spaceship he has been working on for over a week is bigger than the pillows on his bed. Caleb takes a step back to marvel at his accomplishment. “Woah,” he exclaimed. It is even bigger than he imagined it would be. Caleb peeks into the cockpit. All the tiny stickers he now imagines are real instruments with working lights as the Millennium Falcon prepares for flight. Chewbacca and Han Solo sit in their chairs with wild expressions on their faces as if they were already hitting light speed. “I better get to the bathroom with light speed. I’ve been holding it now for two hours while I worked on finishing this,” Caleb says to Han and Chewie.
Naomi, Caleb’s curious younger sister, hears him run down the hall from his room, past hers, and into the bathroom. Her doll’s head makes a thud as it hits the floor. Naomi doesn’t hear it because she’s halfway down the hall to Caleb’s room. The doll’s electronic cry alerts Caleb something is awry. He can’t go to the bathroom any faster though because he drank a giant glass of grape juice while working on the Falcon.
Caleb rushes out of the bathroom while the toilet still flushes. He glances in Naomi’s room as he sprints down the hall. She’s not in her room, he thinks. She must be in mine! “Nooooooo!!” Caleb screams down the last two feet of the hall, then makes an impressive 90 degree turn into his bedroom like a US Marine in the marching band.
The sight that unfolds in his room is even worse than could have imagined. Naomi is not just looking or poking at the Millennium Falcon, but it’s in full flight above her head. Her tiny, and no doubt, sticky little fingers are holding the bottom of the Falcon and she is making “vroom, vroom” noises with her flapping lips which offer up nearly as much spittle as they do noise. Caleb swears Chewie’s and Han’s faces look more frightened than his wide-eyed, jaw-dropped, expression does. “Naomi! Put that down now!” Caleb shouts.
Naomi jumps with fright and lets go of the ship. Gray legos obey the law of gravity. The bright red, fiery thrusters offer no help as the Falcon plummets like a brick. The crash is completely silent to Caleb. He feels like he is stuck in a nightmare where everything is in slow motion and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t make his feet move. Han Solo and Chewbacca now lay in a pile of rubble. If only he had a droid to help him with the repairs.
“Look what you did!” Caleb shouts at Naomi, “You ruined it! You ruin everything!”
Naomi’s lip quivers as her eyes well up with tears. “You scared me, Caleb! I wouldn’t have dropped it if you didn’t scare me!” Naomi shot back, running out of Caleb’s room with full-on alligator tears running down her cheeks. One even drops on Caleb’s bare foot. He stares at the splatter, then at the busted up Falcon, and back at the tear on his foot. He begins to feel bad about his reaction, but all his hard work is now in pieces on the carpet.
“What’s going on up here?!” Mom demands after hearing all the commotion. Her eyes move past Caleb to the pile of logos on the floor. “Oh no bud, what happened?” Mom asks a bit more gently.
“Naomi. She was in my room just after I finished and she dropped it on the floor. It’s ruined, Mom. I have to start over now.” Caleb says. He can no longer hold back the lump in his throat and breaks down crying in frustration and disbelief.
“Meet me downstairs, I’m going to talk to Naomi,” Mom says. Once downstairs, both kids sit on the couch and Mom sits on the ottoman directly in front of them. “I heard both sides of your stories and think I have a good understanding of what happened. It’s really unfortunate this happened to you, bud. I know you worked so hard, and for so long on that Millennium Falcon. It must have been scary to see Naomi holding it above her head when you returned to your room. It was scary for Naomi too, when you ran in shouting. Do you think you handled that well, you two?”
“It’s my fault, Caleb, I shouldn’t have played with your toy without asking you. I’m so sorry!” Naomi says.
Caleb looks down at his foot before responding. He sees the outline of the tear Naomi had dropped on his foot when she ran out of his room scared and crying. Something inside tells him although his hard work is now for nothing, his sister is worth far more than a mound of plastic. “I don’t think I handled that well, actually. I’m sorry for scaring you, Naomi. If I didn’t scare you, you wouldn’t have dropped the Falcon. I should have had better control over myself,” Caleb says. “It makes me think of the verse I heard in youth group this Wednesday: ‘a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls,’ Proverbs 25:28. Because of my lack of self control, now the Falcon lays broken.”
“I can help you fix it, Caleb,” Naomi offers. “I won’t touch anything unless you tell me to.”
“I may have been lacking in self-control, but I’m never too proud to accept help,” Caleb says with a gentle elbow poke to Naomi’s side.
Weekly Bible Verse: Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. -Proverbs 25:28 NIV
Note to Nibble: Exercising self-control can keep both you and others from harm.