Friday, November 20, 2009

Photo Story Friday: I Swore I'd Never Say That

What do you do in the exact moment that you catch yourself acting just like your parents?  I know when we are all in our teenage years we swear very strongly that "I will never be like my dad!" (or mom depending on the moment) We all said it, and as we have grown older, married and had children of our own we swear we will still not be like our parents.
So what do you do when you catch yourself midstream in a sentence that you know you've heard come straight out of you father's mouth?

Last night after dinner it was homework time.  But my girls felt like it was still time to play and that they were being picked on.  Well they probably were, I know I felt that way when I was a kid too.
But the parent prevailed and everyone was seated around the freshly 409'd table and started their individual homework packets.
After about 10 seconds they were tired of it.  And started horsing around.  I tried and tried to get them back on track.
For the next half hour an intense battle of wills ensued.  I won over the 5 year old and she finished her 6 pages of homework.  But that 7 year old has developed an attitude and her ONE page of homework was still uncompleted at the end of the 30 minutes.
I was furious and frazzled by the end of the 20 minute mark becuase I just couldn't get her to bend to MY will!  So I gave into the anger that was bubbling like lava in my brain and slammed my fist down on the table a few times to make sure that my point was getting across "If you don't stop horsing around and finish that homework I'm going to..." 
And that's when the moment hit.  I very vividly remember sitting around an old sign board set up on saw horses in my dad's paint room in the basement of my childhood home.  There I was with my 4 other siblings with our homework laid out around us while my dad stood and painted a sign at one end of the room. 
I remember horsing around instead of doing homework.  And I remember my dad taking as much as he could and then when the last straw broke, he would turn around, face beet red and he would pound his fist on that old board (which would send all of our homework and pencils flying-much more impressive than just a boring old table).  And shout, "If you don't stop horsing around and finish that homework I'm going to paddle your butts!"
And well, we would get to our homework.  And I would swear that I would never be so mean when I was a mom.  My kids wouldn't have to do homework unless they wanted to.  And I swore, I would never be like my dad!
So last night I found myself eating crow as those exact same words were flying from my unthinking mouth.
What did I do?  At the time, nothing.  I couldn't show my kids that they had gained the upperhand, right.  So I did what any parent would do.  I laughed hysterically when the kids weren't around!
And then I realized how grateful I am to my dad.  I am grateful that my dad taught me a good work ethic.  And how important it is to do something well and to do it right the first time.  My dad is a very quiet man (unless we had pushed that last nerve over the edge).  He doesn't have a lot to say most of the time.  But whenever we needed help with anything he was there for us showing us the most rational way through the problem.
I could say so much about all that he has taught me and all that he has done for me.  But mostly I am so grateful for the example that he has alway shown me.
And I would love to be just like him.
Thanks dad, for everything.  (Even though I know you don't read my blog, so I will have to tell you one day.)

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Sue


kayerj said...

ahh that was nice, I'm glad you are like your dad!

Chris said...

He ought to read your blog -- this would be worth it. It's amazing how smart our parents actually were. I was raised (mostly) by a single mom. I look back now in absolute and stunning humility at what she did. It's superhuman.

Great post Heidi!

Rachel said...

Heidi that was so funny. I was laughing with you. I've noticed I will say things my mom used to say too!

Lisa said...

Tell him today. I lost my dad suddenly many years ago, and boy do I wish I had that chance over again! What a great sentiment, and a great picture of your dad.

Thanks for sharing and for visiting my site.


Jen L. said...

That's fantastic! I would have laughed hysterically, too.

nightfall00 said...

Wow! I have had that exact moment with my nine-year-old and when I paused in realization of what I was saying, my daughter thought she broke my brain! Great story and you have a wonderful perspective on the situation.

Patti said...

He should read your blog, he would be proud.

I know exactly whereof you speak, sounding like your parents when you become one yourself. Our kids are older now, so it's not so bad any more.

Emily said...

It's too bad we didn't realize how smart our parents were, right!? All too often, I'll be on the phone with my mom discussing something and I'll say something and she'll respond with, "Hey! That's exactly what your father said when we discussed this!" It would have mortified me 10 years ago, but now I'm glad that I think like him. :)

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I caught myself saying something my mom would say the other day. It struck me as funny, frustrating and then funny again. Then I realized that she had been right all along and I'd wished I'd listened to her then. SOmetimes it is not so bad realizing we've become our parents.

Janae S said...

What a great story! I didn't understand my dad when I was a teenager and now I realize how lucky I am to have him as a dad.

Cecily R said...

I'm totally with Chris! He SHOuLD read your blog!

I say things all the time that are so like my mom it makes me laugh. My husband has told me on several occasions that it's a good thing he likes my mom as much as he does because I am turning into her! :)

Mimi said...

That's so funny, it happens us all, doesn't it? And yet we find that we learned so much from them.
Thanks for stopping by ny place, and explaining the preference ball. It's really interesting, I hadn't heard of it before. Do call in again, I've a giveaway going till tomorrow!