As we all know, parenting is often 90% hard work and 10% fun … or something like that … or so it seems somedays. We work and work and work to instill truth and manners and courtesy and obedience into our children, often feeling like we’re a broken record player being played over scratchy speakers to a brick wall.
Then … out of nowhere … in the midst of the 90% … something clicks somewhere in their developing brains … a light comes on somewhere deep in the recesses in places parents wonder if they even exist … and your child proves that, yes, you are a good parent … and all the wisdom and parenting you have been doing for the last eleven years is, as unbelievable as it may seem sometimes, not in vain.
Mom was picking up Baby and Buddy, the 5 month old and just-turned-three-yesterday-year-old, that I keep everyday while she goes to work, with her 7 year old in tow, and my two at the end of the week wanting to all play together, but this is not the night … and I’m outside helping Mom get three kids in the car, and Buddy gets his fingers closed in the door of the car, and I run into the house to prepare an ice wrap for his hand (I’ve got it down pat as I’ve had LOTS of experience), and my two girls decide it’s cat’s and dog’s time in the house and there’s some verbal/physical explosion going on. I separate my NINE and ELEVEN year old children (thinking I just sent the babies to their Mom), and I try to get the truth out of them. Ahhh … one of those delightful parenting moments.
Oldest goes to her room. Youngest is pouting because her sister made her feel bad. Yada yada yada. I procede to change out the laundry since I’m having to wash all their bedding each day in hot water to get rid of the lice their dad failed to do in a whole week … when my Oldest comes out of her room and begins to speak to me.
I pulled out of the laundry room because it’s difficult to hear with the washer and dryer both going at the same time, and my Eleven year-old-daughter says to me, “I’m the one who grabbed Sister and pulled her away. I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me.”
Okay, first of all, I’m trying to keep myself from having to be peeled off the floor. My Oldest is my one to hold a grudge for as looong as she can possibly get away with it … and it’s been less than five minutes! And she’s also my one who can find everyone else to blame except herself, including the fly on the wall and the dog in the dog pen. I hold her hands and lift her face and say to her, “I am so hugely proud of you right this moment!”
She looks at me as if I’ve just lost my mind. I said again, “I am so extremely, hugely proud of you! You just came out and admitted you were wrong (HUGE HUGE HUGE), and you apologized, AND you did it SOOO quickly! It’s not even been five minutes!” She gleamed from ear to ear, and her eyes sparkled.
Now I went in for the kill, and I just knew it would all be over at that moment, but, alas, she proved me wrong. “Now you need to apologize to your sister.” And she turned right around and apologized to her sister, taking responsibility for what she did! NOT blaming anyone! Not even the dog!!!
I’m going to relish this moment for as long as I possibly can, smiling in the moment, dragging the moment out. I am so proud of my daughter. She really and truly IS growing up.
I may let her give lessons to our government leaders someday.