It’s Not Often…

Leigh at barn PRIVATE

…My kids bring tears to my eyes, but this is one of those times.

I look at this picture of my oldest daughter Leigh and I tear up. I am so proud of her I could bust. That’s not even her horse. She just works at the barn. But she loves all the horses like they are hers, and this is the second time in as many weeks she has worked all day – and I mean ALL DAY – then gone back until WELL AFTER MIDNIGHT to care for an ailing horse. There have been a few times in my life when I have been so proud of my kids that it actually brought tears to my eyes and this is one of them. I’m always proud of them, of course, because despite their mother, they are just the most lovely young women, but sometimes it just breaks my heart what good kids they are, and this is one of those times. God Love you Leigh, because surely your Mom and Dad do!

NOTE:  Be sure to note the message from “Rita.”  Rita is her boss, who is currently in Florida.  Could I ask for a better boss for my baby?

TRICK or TREAT a la Michelle

This Let’s Move P.S.A. (Public Service Announcement) aggravated the hell out of me when I saw it.

There’s so much wrong with it it’s hard to know where to begin but here’s the guts of it: It takes courage to parent properly. You have to be willing to be honest & unpopular – not lie & skate.  It’s hard to tell a kid they have to do X, Y, and Z, but YOU DO IT DAMMIT. You don’t humiliate them by manipulation and purposeful deception – like in this disgusting P.S.A – no matter how benign or noble the underlying intent. The ends do not always justify the means.

A proper way to handle this situation? Have a discussion with your child  ~ We need to incorporate more physical activity into our lives and in order to do it we’re going to do simple little things a few minutes at a time here and there so that they add up to be meaningful but taken separately, are barely noticeable, only 5 minutes here and there – as simple as doing 5 up and 5 down on the stairs if you want money for the mall – or whatever. ~

That would work in my house. You know why? Because my husband and I did the hard work when our girls were 1, 2, 3 and 4. Now at 14, 12, 12 (twins) they know that no means no. And here’s the part NOBODY ever mentions about that glorious principle: They also know the wonders of yes meaning yes! They know that if we arrive at terms of a deal and they do / don’t follow through, there will be / will not be money, mall, computer, or whatever. Their parents have attached consequences to their choices since they were able to make them. They know that with age & freedom come responsibility. We have miles and miles to go so this covenant of trust could vanish – and our girls know how precious & fragile it is – so all involved know years of trust GONE is just one lie away, but 14 years in, at least at this moment, we have the comfort of knowing that if something hard has to be said, it will be said… and followed with a hug – CONSISTENTLY.

A family’s covenant of trust is precious. YOU DON’T TRICK CHILDREN. It’s the COWARDLY way. If you can’t have a reasonable discussion with your child about reasonable goals regarding her health, it’s YOU that has the problem NOT THE CHILD. It’s YOUR FAILURE, not the child’s.

Grow a set, develop some backbone, tell your kid she’s beautiful and you want her to stay that way so X, Y, Z but DON’T TREAT THEM LIKE WITLESS CIRCUS ANIMALS who only move for a treat aka your deceitful, cowardly TRICK.