Wednesday, August 10, 2016

From Hobby Lobby to the Dentist: All You Need to Know About Parenting

Today was the perfect day to describe parenthood in all its wonder.

Event #1:  I was at Hobby Lobby with my three boys to spend my gift card on some twine they needed to make bracelets.  Of course, each boy found some great clearance item they couldn't live without, so I agreed to chip in $5.00 for each one, and they would pay the rest.

On our way to check out, I bumped into an old friend, who had three kids in her cart and one by her side.  We talked about summer, school, her working out and me not, and the like.  During this conversation, her children didn't make a peep nor show one ounce of impatience, and her oldest is one year younger than my youngest.

Meanwhile, my boys were playing grab-ass, which ended with nutcrackers on the floor (Yes, Christmas stuff is out already), some very misplaced blame (Me!), and an embarrassed and ticked off someone (Me, again!).

I commended my friend for her well-behaved children.  She graciously thanked me and said that they often behaved more like mine, and we parted ways.

My boys and I had an emergency meeting the next aisle over in very hushed tones, the fruit of which was a silent march back to the clearance section, a return of all items that minutes before couldn't have been lived without, and a long, quiet ride home.

Parenting conclusion #1:  My boys are unbelievably ill-behaved and not at all suited to going out in public.  I am definitely doing something wrong.

Event #2:  After arriving home from Hobby Lobby, I assembled a birthday gift for my niece.  While I was doing so, my youngest decided he wanted to give everyone in our neighborhood a gift, to make them happy.  (I think after leaving Hobby Lobby empty-handed, he was acutely aware of how much the world at large was in need of happiness)!

I told him a note would accomplish the same thing and he instantaneously became an author, illustrator, Santa Claus, mailman, and delinquent.  He wrote and illustrated notes, walked to the neighbors' homes, rang the doorbell, dropped his happiness, and ran!  Fortunately, I'm friends with one of these neighbors on Facebook, so I copied his picture from his post thanking whoever it was.  He tagged me, so I guess he had a pretty good idea...                                          

Parenting conclusion #2:  I have one very thoughtful son.  Maybe I'm not totally failing as a parent.

Event #3:  4:00pm.  Dentist appointments for all three.  For the first time ever, I didn't go back with them - probably because I was still recovering from Hobby Lobby.  So, I stayed in the waiting area, availing myself of the Keurig-love and pretended I was on vacation. When they were all finished, the dentist and her staff came out to brief me, and they all gushed about how well-behaved and polite the boys were, and could I teach them how to train their kids like that? Ha!

Parenting conclusion #3:  I'm the best parent in the world!!!  Not really.  More like, don't trust the dentist!  Not really.  More kids are like me and all of our fellow earthlings...Not as bad or as good as they seem in any given moment.  There but for the grace of God, go we.   


  1. I told my mom about five years ago that all those things I did in my childhood that stressed her were done so that she could reflect back on them in her older years & chuckle:)
    It took a lot out of me as a child to insure that her older years would be filled with so many funny memories!
    She is 93 now and tells me daily that I'm a keeper!!
    Cherish those boys - they are working very hard to make your senior years full of awesome memories!

    1. Thanks for the perspective!! I can only hope to fuel 93 years with good memories! God bless you and your Mom!

  2. You are one of the best writers--and one of the best theologians--I know. Love this essay.

    1. You give better and more positive feedback than anyone I know! Thank you, Mary Lenn.