I once watched little baby Jocelyn when she was pretending to be a mother. She got out her doll’s stroller and got ready to take her baby doll for a walk. She slung a purse over her shoulder. Then strapped another purse over her other shoulder. She got her doll’s diaper bag, hung two more purses over her left should, picked up one more bag in her right hand, and then pushed the stroller.
So many times I have seen my faults reflected in the behavior of my chlldren.
When I was expecting Abigail the weirdest thing happend to me — my eyesight changed – significantly, so that I could no longer see when wearing my contact lenses. Luckily an old pair of glasses seemed to work, but I wanted to check with the eye doctor. I made a last minute appointment. The two “big” girls were in school and Bennett accompanied me, strapped (of course) in his car seat, holding things to keep himself occupied on the ride. We were both thirsty, so I opened a juice box and gave it to him. “Can I have some juice,” I asked Bennett, as he was sucking it down. He took one last slurp and then said, “It’s all gone.” I was really thirsty and under the gun to get this errand done before the girls got out of school, so there was no time to get another drink.
“Bennett you are so bad!” burst out of my mouth. I was immediately sorry and I apologized. But Bennett had been playing with my work dictaphone and he had recorded what I said. For 10 minutes he kept re-playing, “You are so bad. You are so bad.”
My words, literally, coming back to haunt me.
It seems that what I have taught my children is not the vast collection of experience and knowledge I have accumulated and consciously choose to impart, but my impulsive thoughts and outbursts, and yes, my political views and some unthinking prejudices. In spite of that handicap, though, my children have grown up to be wonderful people in their own right. I feel truly blessed and truly lucky.
These memories are warm, dear and humbling! And a humorous way to remind me to always be on my best behavior.
That’s why one of my favorite jokes is about the mother who invites her Pastor over for dinner one night. In the mad rush of preparing the house and the food she is running around like a crazy person trying to pull everything together. Finally the Reverend arrives and they all sit down to an almost hot meal. The Priest says to the children “Would one of you like to say Grace?” the kids all look at each other, and the mother nudges one of them under the table. “What should I say?” the child asks.
“Just say what I said earlier today,” the mother replies.
The child reverently bows her head and says, “Dear God, why did I ever invite the Pastor to dinner on such a hot day?”
© Jane F. Collen November 27, 2015