Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Some of My Proudest Moments as a Parent........

One thing I say all the time is that parenting is nothing but blind luck. It's a little more than that, but the concept of luck is easier to grasp when you're trying to understand why people who were well-behaved teenagers wind up with hell-raisers for kids and vice versa. Personally, I believe I got a much better child than I deserved. I can only blame it on luck.

When she was in second grade, she came home talking about something one of her classmates had done at school. I don't remember the incident, but I remember her grandfather asking her, "What color was she?"

Sweet Girl looked puzzled for a moment. She thought for a bit, then she said, with a question mark at the end, "Brown?"

It was the first time she had ever been asked to describe the color of a person's skin. It didn't occur to her that people were different colors; they were just people. I was so proud that she didn't classify people by color, and I wanted to kick her grandfather in the shin.

When she was about 14 and Hubby and I hadn't been married too long, I insisted she go with me to a church we hadn't been to before. I played the piano at a small country church for a few years, but I had resigned. I wanted to try a church closer to our new home, and I thought it was important for both Sweet Girl and me to have a church home. Actually I just wanted to go to church somewhere and I didn't want to go by myself, so I dragged her along with me. I picked a fairly large church, the one closest to our house, and unfortunately (for us) it was Baptist. Now I was raised a Baptist, married (the first time) in a Baptist church, and I guess some of my beliefs will always be Baptist. But not a lot of them.

On the Sunday I made Sweet Girl go with me, the regular minister wasn't preaching that day. It probably wouldn't have mattered, because the message would likely have been the same. I don't remember who the guest preacher was or what he was talking about, but sometime in his sermon he made a remark along the lines of gay people going to hell or something like that. I felt Sweet Girl bristle beside me, and I heard her sharp intake of breath. He had offended her. I don't think we had ever talked specifically about gay people, but I think Sweet Girl had made up her own mind that just like you don't judge people by their color, you also don't judge them by whom they choose to sleep with. I was so proud of the fact that by her indignation at the preacher's remark, she was defending gay people and their right to be who they are. And I don't think I ever mentioned it to her after that. We never went back to that church.

One of my proudest moments, however, had to be watching the USS Harry S. Truman sail back into port after a 7-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and knowing that my Sweet Girl was one of those little people up there manning the rails.

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