The first time I was caught saying a curse word, my mom just happened to be standing at the kitchen sink. I said the word “shit” while playing some Atari games with friends and one of the little dickheads told on me. My mom, being none too happy about the report, took the Palmolive from the back of the sink and squirted a thick glop onto the palm of her hand. As I cried and protested my case, my mother proceeded to lather every square inch of my tongue from the tip to the Adam’s Apple. I swore that I would never say another curse word as long as I lived, but that turned out to be bullshit.

There is not a kitchen sink that I walk past today, which doesn’t remind me of the lesson I was taught. Whenever I see someone washing dishes or a squeeze bottle of detergent, I am reminded of the point that my mom was trying to drive home.

I learned my lesson that day. I learned that using bad language is not acceptable behavior and that I should think before I speak. So, do I always put into play the knowledge which was bestowed upon me? Not hardly. Not even the majority of the time. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn what was being taught.

The fact that I fail the test, doesn’t mean that didn’t learn the lesson.

I think about what my mom was teaching whenever I am going off on some obnoxious life lesson, as our children secretly roll their eyes and imagine themselves gagging to death with a spoon. I remember that my job as a parent is to provide the syllabus, teach the lessons, and prepare them for the tests. But, I also must remember that it is their job to take the final and apply the lesson to real-life scenarios. I need also remember that when my children choose not to use the lessons that they have been taught, it does not mean that they didn’t learn it or that I did not do a good job teaching it. It might just mean that they are independent thinkers who choose to use their free will in a manner that they deem appropriate which may or may not be in line with mine, it might mean that they saw the situation differently than myself and chose to handle it differently, or it could mean that they simply don’t like following rules and being told what to do.

It is not my job to “make” our children be anything, but it is my responsibility to teach them the lessons that I believe will allow them to be the best versions of themselves (not the best version of what I want them to be).

The best I can do is supply the best information that I can, be the best example that I know how to be, and keep my fingers crossed. The power that I have to control my children’s path and development is far less than I would like to believe. I need to remember that there is a God for that.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,