My Tugboat Crisis
Potted plants, baby wipes and a blue tugboat

I was surrounded by dirt. It was in my vehicle, in my mouth, all over the road—and it was all my fault. I was shaken.

All kinds of thoughts surged through my mind. I knew better. Had I been using common sense, I wouldn’t be in this situation. It was too late for that, however. I had already made the mistake. All that was left to do was to pick up the pieces. If I could handle it myself, then maybe no one would find out about how dumb I was. But how could I do it all by myself? I was only two-and-a-half years old!

No, this was not a terrible car crash in the road. I was just being a normal two-year-old, cruising around the house in my stylish blue tugboat. As I captained my ship and sailed the seven seas in our house, something spotted my eye: a plant. This was not just any plant. It was an inside plant. Didn’t all plants grow outside? I was curious, as most two-year-olds are, so I decided to investigate.

I steered my boat over to this strange new potted plant and tried to grab it. The pot was rather large and had been placed on a high table. It was too high for me to reach. I tried anyway, and the results were disastrous. In my attempt to discover a new species of vegetation, I accidentally tipped the pot over. As my mouth hung open in astonishment, it was quickly filled with dirt—and so was my beautiful blue tugboat.

Now I had a problem on my hands: I was covered in dirt, and there was a huge mess on the floor. I was afraid to tell anyone about it because I didn’t want to get in trouble. Plus, I was embarrassed! I decided to clean it up myself. Since I didn’t know all that much about cleaning supplies, I fell back on the one reliable source I knew: Huggies Baby Wipes.

I put my chubby hand into the box to grab a wipe, but that was as far as I got. My hand was stuck. Great. At this point, I had dirt in my mouth, on my clothes, all over my tugboat and on the ground—and to cap it off, my hand was stuck in a box of baby wipes. I began to see how hopeless my situation was. Defeated by some dirt and baby wipes, I decided it was time I sought help. I waddled over to the room my dad was in and peeked around the corner. I didn’t want him to see the wipe box stuck on my hand.

“Dad … I need help,” I babbled. He told me to come all the way into the room, and I reluctantly complied. First, he had to take pictures of the whole ordeal. Then he told me to let go of the wipe inside the box. I did. My hand slipped out. Why hadn’t I thought of that?

My dad proceeded to get the dirt out of my mouth and clean me up. He also cleaned the mess on the floor and in my blue tugboat. I was so happy to have that dirt taste out of my mouth. To this day, we still laugh about the whole ordeal.

This exact situation has probably not happened to you, but have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you were in way over your head? Maybe you’ve run into a problem, and you don’t have a solution. Maybe you’re making a big decision, and you’re not sure what you should do. Maybe you have made a mistake, and you need help. Maybe you are just too embarrassed or afraid to ask for help.

That can be a difficult position to be in, but we have people we can turn to: our parents.

Our parents are there to guide us and help us grow. We can bring any problem to them and ask for their help and advice. They have much more wisdom and experience than we do—and there is a good chance they have been in similar situations before.

Our parents love us and will help us in any way they can. We can ask them for help, advice and direction. Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Our parents can help drive foolishness from us. Spend time with them. Talk to them. Share your thoughts with them—and listen to theirs. Ask them about things like their teen years, how they came into God’s Church, difficult times they have had, and how they got through those times. You’ll probably learn a lot about them that you never knew before.

Our problems today are a bit more complicated than the one I had—most of us probably aren’t tipping over potted plants and getting our hands stuck in baby wipe boxes. Nevertheless, we should all strive to draw closer to our parents. Then, when our next figurative tugboat crisis hits, we will know where to turn.