Running free with her classmates, little Zoe zipped up a grassy hill behind three of us teachers, talking. One of the teachers was her mommy. When I waved to Zoe, her mom turned around, which brought Zoe in a quick tumble to her mommy’s side. “Hi, Mommy!” she laughed as they exchanged hugs. Then, Zoe was off to play.
As I watched this delightful interchange, I saw that I, too, am part of the same cheerful moment with my lovely daughter, Judith, who is now grown and working as a nurse. On her way home from the hospital, (while she’s running up the grassy hill) she often calls me just to say, “Hi!”, and sends me her warm and cheerful love and laughter. I am so glad to perceive not only that the joyous interchange I was appreciating was mirrored in my life, but also to recognize that these moments of love aren’t gone when our children are grown.
I have never been good at talking with other people. I developed a little talent at one-liners in high school and college. That cost me a good friend. I have a propensity for puns but that tends to hinder conversation unless you want others to talk about you. . . or groan.
Where I have struggled is keeping a conversation going with a new acquaintance, with my own children, with my co-workers, with my boss. I watched others have conversations and I wondered what they did that I was not doing. I just couldn’t figure it out, which is probably a comment about my inability to observe.
Daddy #1 often seemed unreasonable with his kids. He seemed harsh, overbearing and demanding. He said to me that kids should be servants, not masters. I wondered if he took that a little too far. He ruled with an iron fist and was quick to voice his opinion strongly, forcefully, and often loudly.
He disciplined severely and encouraged others to do the same with their kids.
It seemed to me that he was leading his kids in such a way that the only kiss they would give him would be a goodbye kiss. They would rebel at the first chance.
They didn’t. So I ask, “Why not?” (more…)
Imagine this: an airline without any posted arrival and departure times.
This guy goes up to the desk and asks, “When does the plane board for Nashville?”
The answer: “We’re not sure, sir, but it could be any time.”
“Do you know when the plane will arrive from Orlando?”
“We’re not sure, sir, but it could be any time.”
He persists, “How will I know when to board?”
“We’ll make an announcement sir.”
Later he is reading a book, and an announcement is made. He misses it. Frantic, he asks someone, “What did they say?” For the fifteenth time it has nothing to do with him.
Approaching the desk again, he asks, “Why don’t you post schedules?”
“We don’t like to straitjacket ourselves, sir. Just look at it this way; we are never late.” The attendant smiles, showing that two teeth are missing. Our frequent flyer understands why.
It seems crazy, doesn’t it?
The wild thing is that we often run our homes like that. We don’t want to straitjacket ourselves, so we play it loose. Our kids are like the frequent flyer (more…)