Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gentle Reminders

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On my lunch break today, I went to the library to check out some books on Stinky and Blinky's summer reading list. In the children's section, there were two exasperated Moms sitting and chatting, while three very rambunctious toddlers were running amuck. The male child was screaming different ways to kill the girls, who were working together to destroy a wooden puzzle. Most surprising though was that the children's librarian was in her office completely oblivious to the noise and destruction around her. [Not like her. At all.]

As luck would have it, the two Moms and I headed to the check-out counter around the same time. A nanosecond later, I heard the lady at the front desk mention to Mom #1 that her daughter was running up the stairs and gently suggested that she catch her before she falls and hurts herself. What she really meant was probably along the lines of, "Lady, please control your child. This is a library!"

I started to wonder about my own children at that age. I was raised super strict, which is not how the DH and I raise Stinky and Blinky. Sometimes my Mom gives me grief because they can't sit still through a three-hour church service as I was made to do, or go long distances without reaching for an electronic device. But by George, they were never allowed to run amuck in public! Sure they tried, but a pinch or a stealth spank fixed that. Most of the time.

I find I "get on" to my children a lot. I struggle to find a balance between letting them be kids and adhering to some fractionalized standard of how I was raised. I refuse to adopt the laid back parenting style I see a lot of here which allows kids do as they see fit, especially in a public setting where they may disturb others. But most of all I am conscious of the fact that I am raising two super intelligent, smart-mouthed, bi-racial children of immigrant parents, in the deep south. I want them to be shining examples, but as they are 5 and 7, that does not always work out.

At the end of the day I know I have GREAT kids. Even on the days I want to pull my hair out. Even on the days they have selective hearing and refuse to obey anything I say. Even on the days they fight ad nauseum  only to cry for each other when separated. I have great kids. Still, God places these gentle reminders in my path to remind me of that.

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