Friday, December 4, 2009
I don't seem to hear those two words as often as I used to. Are we still teaching our children to say please and thank you? My grandmother used to pound those two words into my head. I hear people say to me, "times are different now." Those were the same words Grandma used to say. Times are different today, but manners aren't. Are they? I don't think so. I didn't get any "mother of the year" awards from my children when they were growing up. In fact, I was the "meanest mom in the world." That award usually came right after, or during my suggestion that they clean their room before they go outside to play football with the neighbors or go shopping with girlfriends. It used to surprise me, if I was the meanest Mom in the world, why all their friends hung out at our house? It also surprised me that their friends would ask me if they could help with a chore around the house. There were times when I wanted to cave. When I wanted to be their friend rather than fight with them and remain the parent. The most unpopular person on the block. One of my fondest memories of my son is the memory of the look on his face when he thought "he won the battle." I always insisted my children write thank you notes for gifts or cards from friends and relatives. One day, my son stood before me with his little scrunched up nose and his hand on his hip. "I don't want to write a thank you note to Grandma. Can't I just tell her the next time I see her?" I turned and smiled at him and nodded my head. "Sure, you can do that." He stood waiting. I continued. "I'm going to call Grandma right now." He smiled victoriously. No more thank you notes, I'm sure he was thinking. "Why are you calling Grandma?" "I'm going to tell her you hate writing thank you notes. So in order for you not to have to write another one, I don't want her to ever buy you another gift." He yelled. "Where's a pen and paper." Today I love being their friend. And watching them be the meanest parent in the world.