Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do they ever learn?

Some days I really wonder if all the teaching and training and hours spent trying to help my children do the "right thing" is wasted. I think they look at me while I talk like I am a fat hot air balloon leaking air. They hear me and know when to say "ok, mom" but I wonder if they ever really learn. And it's easy to ask why I even try or feel like I'm failing over and over. And then, in a rare moment, ever so infrequently, they surprise me - like this...

A little background: Several (like 6) weeks ago, Caden attended an all-day event with a friend. We sent Cade with some money to cover the cost of meals. As he arrived home at the end of the day, he was pennyless. In asking him what he purchased...we discovered that his friend's dad had insisted on buying his food and so Cade took the liberty to spend the money we'd sent with him on videogames at one of the restaraunts...$16 dollars worth of videogames!

I set in on one of my "lectures" and explained how disappointed I was and how much trust I'd lost in him. Later that night, Bart repeated his version of the lecture and told Cade that he would have to pay it back. Like usual, the tense moment passes, Cade's off to play and the lesson is forever lost in the black hole of my children's minds. And honestly, as time passed, even Bart and I let it go and forgot about the repayment.

Then last Sunday, (after Caden's birthday had passed where he was given some birthday money from family members) this little "gift" shows up on Bart's desk in the den.

With the note reading...

And inside the bag...

$16 dollars! I was deeply touched and in shock all at once. He had actually HEARD and LISTENED and even GOT IT! The soft side of me wanted to return the money to Cade and tell him how sweet he was and not to worry about it. But I knew that would have undermined his effort to the "right thing". I was proud of him that day and even gave myself a little pat on the back - go mom. If us moms keep trying, they slowly figure it out.
(Slowly is the key word, since I learned from Tyler later that night that Cade let Ty be the "boss for the day" if he contributed $4 of his money to the bag. Oh well, one lesson at a time, right?)
Parenting is one tough job, but the rewards are worth it. I have great kids and I love them to death!!

14 comments:

THE YOUNG-INS said...

that is a great story...especially the part about being the boss of the day.

Julie Heugly said...

ok, that story made me laugh and cry all at the same time.

Mikael said...

Lately I am really starting to see that being a mom is the hardest job in the world. I get so overwhelmed I can hardly function, so worked up I can't sit still, and so tired I just collapse at the end of the day missing moments I could be with my hubby.
So there is hope? Our children do learn from us!? Thank you for this post. All the hard work we do really does pay off :) And you are a great mom of course they listen to you, (and I am sure they are scared of dad!)

Alison Brown said...

That is so great! There is hope for me then too!

Amy Fox said...

What a heart-melting story! Caden is such a good boy. He obviously loves and respects you both very much. I feel like I'm stuck at home so much with my kids, I'm glad we can keep in touch through blogging at least. :)

Coordination Queen said...

It is such a wonderful feeling when something you've been trying to teach them actually works. The joys of life... :)

Carrie said...

Mandy, What an awesome awesome story! LOVED it.

Kearl said...

Oh, I loved that story. Kids are so funny. I love when they surprise you with sweetness. The Tyler part killed me. Sounds like you have one shrewd business man on your hands.

Heather K said...

That is the sweeetest thing--made my pregnant self get all teared up :) You've got to be so proud of that kid...despite his weaseling of $4 out of Ty!

ballardfamily said...

This story made me tear up. I love stories like these.
Thank you for sharing!!!

Chelly said...

Okay *sniffle* Am I an absolute baby or what? When I saw the bag and the letter, I cried LOL What a great story, Mandy~ thanks so much for sharing that :o) You and Bart are doing an amazing job with those munchkins~ it all sinks in eventually (I tell myself over and over and over and over.... ;o) )

Rebecca said...

How adorable! You do have sweet boys! Do they have to grow up???

Rebecca Parker said...

that is so sweet & sounds like my boys:) just have to remember these moments amidst daily chaos, eh?

Celeste said...

ahhh...I cried as I read that. What a sweet boy! Miss you guys...wish we lived closer so our boys could be friends.