Sometimes, I absolutely amaze myself. Just whenI think I might possibly be getting most things right in this parenting business I realize I couldn’t be any more wrong.
I try so hard at being a parent with forethought…a parent who not only considers the current consequences of both my ownand my children’s actions but also pays very close attention to what the future could bring. I believe in educating my children at every opportunity. I believe in not onlyteaching them how to be better people but almost more importantly,why.
With Avery at the malleable age of seven I find multiple opportunities for education. She comes home from the first grade ripe with stories just waiting for a “what should you/they have done?” kind of ending. And I’m extremely proud to say that most of the time my little girl has got it right. Thanks to me. And all my lessons. In life. Well, mostly me. And some of my lessons. In life.
And sometimes I have it absolutely wrong. Very, very wrong.
Case in point:
Avery came home from school the other day, upset written all over her little face.
“What’s up?” I asked her.
“Nothing. Something just happened during reading groups today,” she answered, visibly bothered.
“What happened? Something bad?” I asked, visions of Avery flying over the kidney-shaped group desk in a tangle of flailing fists assaulting my mind. (Granted, the chances of Avery engaging in a fist fight are very slim but after her mini-skirt debacle I now question everything.)
“Well, I didn’t do anything bad. But *so-‘n-so* did,” Avery said.
“What did he do?” I asked.
“He lied,” she answered. “He said that he read something but I know he didn’t because I saw him not read it.”
“You saw him not read something?” I asked, for clarification.
“Yep. I saw him not do it.”
Weird. But…teaching moment at hand!
“Well, what do you think about that?” I prodded.
“I don’t think it’s okay,” she said.
“Um, because we’re not supposed to lie. It’s not right,” she answered.
“Why isn’t it right?” I asked, waiting for the aha moment.
“Because it’s…not…right?” she said. Obviously we’ve stretched the moral compass of her little seven year-old mind as far as it will go.
“Yes, Avery. It’s not right. At all. Lying hurts our hearts. Sometimes we can’t tell that it’s hurting us but eventually we’ll feel it. Okay? In fact, lying is so bad that God actually wrote a rule about it.” Man, I’m hitting a home run with this little lesson.
“He did?” she asked.
“Yep. He sure did. He knew how important it was for us to live our lives honestly that He created the Golden Rule. Thou shall not lie.” Rounding the bases and heading home.
“Wow. That issuper important,” Avery said.
“Yes, yes it is,” I answered. Ahh, it’s fulfilling to be so enlightened.
“Um, that’s not the Golden Rule,” interrupted Jer.
“Excuse me?” I said.
“You told Avery that ‘thou shall not lie’ is the Golden Rule and it’s not,” he said.
I sat looking at him for a moment, contemplating whether he could actually be right or not. Hmm.
“Are you sure?” I asked, having lost some of the bravado I had been so previouslyinspired with.
“Um, yeah. I’ve been sure for about 30 years,” Jer said.
“Well, then what the heck’s the Golden Rule Mr. Smarty Pants?” I asked.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, treat people the way you would want to be treated.”
Oh. That’s right. Crap.
“Um, yeah. Avery. Be nice to people. That’s really important. But also you’re not supposed to lie. Got it?”
Yep. I amaze myself. Sometimes there are lessons to be learned within lessons to be taught. My lesson? Check with Wikipedia before preaching morals and ethics.