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Mom, You Have Character!
by Tammy McConnell
03/14/05
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“Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” 1 Peter 5:3

There are many, many traits that I possess that drive my kids insane. Truth be known, these same traits are the ones that they will most appreciate as they enter their adult years. If I’ve done my job properly, they will embrace these character “flaws” and having realized their misassumptions, will willingly pass them to their own children. One of the privileges of grandparent-dom, as I understand it, (I do not currently have any grandchildren) is hearing that glorious phrase reluctantly sputtering from our offspring’s lips, “You were right mom. How did you know?” My own mother seemed almost giddy when she heard these words come from my lips many…many years ago. Please indulge for a moment in my reverie, won’t you?

I enjoy the grand distinction of raising five wonderful children. The first of which, against all odds, has made it to adulthood…barely. She is 18 now and living on her own in a different state. How did that happen?! Being the “good little guinea pig” that she is, she has graciously allowed me to make all of my mistakes with her. To date, she hasn’t complained outwardly, too much. For your perusal, numerous examples of this progression follow, evidenced by actual quotes:

* Accountable, Consistent – “You’re late. You’re grounded.”

* Fair – “Your sisters will not be allowed to wear make-up until they’re fifteen either. Neither will your brother.”

* Courageous – “Mom will remove that fuzzy green thing from the back of the refrigerator, but you will clean the rest.”

* Honest – “Your clothing does not fit properly, and I don’t care how the rest of the kids are wearing it.”

* Thrifty, Practical, Constructive – “Oh look at that outfit! I could make that myself, and for a lot less.”

* Punctual – “Get up, get up, get up!”

* Gracious – “Go ahead; you can have the last piece of pie. I’ve already had three anyway.”

* Resilient – “I know we spent the entire weekend at the beach. So what, we can’t go to the mall for just a few hours?”

* Compassionate, Available – “Oh honey, come have a gallon of ice cream with mom. We’ll talk about it.”

* Initiating, Confident – “I can too build a deck!”

* Creative, Resourceful – “I know we only have ketchup and crackers and it’s suppertime; so what’s your point?”

Okay, well…they will still learn and adorn these character traits, whether it be through my example of perfection or my total misappropriation. Don’t we all aspire to “do it better than our parents did”? There is one parent that we will never outdo, no matter how hard we try; and He wouldn’t have it any other way. Aren’t you glad?

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