I was a difficult child born to overly patient parents. I was 7 years younger than my youngest brother and either the long awaited only daughter or the surprise of all surprises! I think I probably displayed a bent for mischief from the very beginning. Much of it I can remember, some of it I think they are making up just to malign me. I REALLY DID NOT set the curtains and the air conditioner in the boys room on fire!
Anyway, I did more than enough. My mother would have been well within her rights to drop me on the doorsteps of some stranger. Instead, they decided to keep me and try to raise me. They lived right before me. My mom never asked me to do anything that she didn't do herself, except to go to school. She had done it in her day and I never was really reliable to go there or stay there all day, but with enough encouragement, I did make it through highschool and even college.
I have the rare distinction of never being lied to by my parents. Well, they did fib about Santa and the Easter Bunny, but as far as real lies, there were none. It never crossed my mind that a parent could have a selfish motivation or let her child suffer due to her selfishness. My mom and dad always practiced what they preached and guided me by word and deed and much prayer. They weren't afraid to get in my way when I was intent upon being stupid. My mom especially could wield a mean "hickory", our local word for a small branch of just about any brushy shrub or small tree. Typically ours were privet hedge limbs with the thousand little leaves stripped off. It was usually my job to pick my own. Ask me how I knew better than to bring in a rotten one or one that was too small!
Mother could also make do if the hickory wasn't convenient, with a shoe, a hairbrush, a comb, various fly swatters, yard sticks and other implements that were handy and sturdy enough. Believe me, flyswatters and yardsticks are NOT as sturdy as they used to be when I was a child. When I had transgressed and I knew the spanking was irrevocable, the tears began to pour. My mom always grabbed my hand so I stayed within striking range. I would NEVER have run from her, but my orbit might have gotten a little wider. She then proceeded to spank in the "strike zone". She swung in a range that would have included my bottom in a slight crouch IF I would have been still. Since I was not still, however, I got swatted anywhere from the shoulders to the ankles. Oh! How I wanted to be still! I could have sooner held a snake to my nose and let it bite me!
The other thing I remember about my spankings (in addition to how good my mother was at administering them) was that I never got one from her that I didn't have coming. As a matter of fact I probably should have had about twice as many as I got. My mom never beat me or abused me and though she was often at the end of her rope, she never took her anger out on me. My mother was able to chastise me without me ever feeling unloved. I am not the mom that she was.
We all know that parenting is hard. Parenting well with a clear conscience before an observant God, is a mission. The absolute hardest task I have ever had is to try to do as well as my mom in raising me. I try never to let a deed go unrewarded, either bad or good. I pray to the Lord on a daily basis to reveal the sins of my children so that they can be nipped in the bud rather than go on to become habits, addictions or attitudes that will alienate their affections from me, their dad and their Lord. I try hard to be kind and cheerful, yet firm and strong when I need to be. I also try to walk in forgivenes without setting myself up to be misled. (Mommy2 and I have had many conversations about walking this tightrope.)
I love my job of being a Christian wife and mother, but the more children I parent and the longer I parent them, the more I admire my mother. I am blessed that she is here and that I can talk to her and be encouraged by her. (I know though that she longs to say "I told you so!" and to smile when she sees me paying for my raising. ) Or is that just what I would do in her shoes?
P.S. I have met Mommy2's mom and I know that Mommy2 also is very blessed in the parent catagory!