Did I just stutter? Did I speak a foreign language? Or is there something wrong with your hearing?
Then why, do I have to continue to say the same thing over and over again? You all complain about me fussing, but I wish one of you could take my place for just one day. You will quickly realize how frustrating this is. I hope and pray that when either of you get your own home; you’ll clearly understand what I’m talking about.
Turn off the lights.
Unplug the Iron.
Why is the television on; if there is
no one in the room watching it?
P l e a s e! Close the door behind you.
Clean up after yourself in the bedroom, bathroom and in the kitchen.
If you have school tomorrow; don’t stay up late.
Stay away from drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.
If you are a parent, I’m sure you are familiar with this list of instructions and the many others that you may have had to repeat time after time--hoping and praying that somehow, someday, they just may get the big picture. Thank God, sometimes they do.
I’ve been blessed to have raised three stepchildren; who when I first met them were five, seven and nine. Today, almost 20 years later, I am blessed with eight Grandsons and two Granddaughters, and Oh the blessings of having Grandchildren!
Recently, as I sat at my youngest daughter’s house, from the back bedroom, I could hear her hollering at the top of her voice.
Turn of the lights! Close the door! Why is this television on and there’s no one in the room?
For a moment, I thought I heard an echo from the past. But instead, it was the distressing cry of a frustrated young mother dealing with her children’s stubborn rebellion to her repeated instructions. Indeed, an age-old list of parental do’s and don’ts, but nevertheless, one that I can vividly recall from just 20 years ago.
Princess, my baby girl has two boys, JoJo the oldest boy is 9, and Mechi is just 2. She also has two girls, Zeerah who is six (going on sixteen) and Zanie, who is five.
“These kids are off the hook; they never turn off anything, they are just too much.” Princess continued her complaint as she came down the steps into the living room. Sometimes, I don’t know how else to say it; I’m so tired of doing this. No one ever listens to me.
“Dad,” she continued fussing, “Can you believe their games and TVs were still on, and they are not even here?”
“Yes I can,” I responded. “And who were you just shouting at? Were you just talking to yourself? Oh my! I said with a hint of I told you so.”
“Oh stop—“She said laughing. “I already know where you are going with that. Yes, you warned me about this. Right now, I have an electric bill that I will need help with. These kids just don’t listen. Now I understand what you‘ve been saying.”
“Let me see that bill.” I demanded. “My God, this is outrageous! We are going to have to get you on a payment plan, but we can work this out.”
“Thank you” She sighed in relief.
As I drove off, I thought, how long did it take for me to get what my parents were saying to me back then?
I suppose, my parents heard it from their parents, and so they told me, what they were told.
I have, in fact said the exact words, and now, my children are saying what I said. I am looking forward to that day when with joy and excitement, I can sit back and listen as JoJo and Zeerah go through the motions of repeating the same instructions to their children.
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