Monday, October 1, 2007

My consciences sit in the back seat

There are days when I feel like the old cartoon or sitcom characters who develop little "conscience" characters who sat on the shoulders, angel on the right, devil on the left. Or Pinocchio with Jiminy Cricket, that cheerful little fellow who tried to get silly Pinocchio to do right.

I have two consciences, however, and they sit in the back seat.

You have to love the precious innocence of the child who wants to do right, and you can't help but be humbled by it. So often, we tell our children by our actions, "do as I say, not as I do" and eventually, they're going to call us on it.

Today we were driving to our new home. It's about 45 minutes away, on a road we've been on just once before. It's a windy, twisty country road, just right for zooming along and enjoying the feel of driving. Harry pipes up from the back seat, "60. Are we allowed to do 60 on this road?" Why, I don't know sugar, I haven't noticed a speed limit sign yet.

Although I had more than a suspicion that it certainly wasn't 60 through there. Ahem.

On the way back, he certainly hadn't forgotten it. He finally spied a speed limit sign and politely informed me, "45, that's the speed limit. So you can drop your speed."

Oh yes, he did. He said that. Did I mention he's 12 going on 30? How very helpful. He's going to drive some poor very lucky woman just a teensy bit nuts someday. Lord bless the child.

His sister is no better, of course. Her specialty seems to be language. We don't allow cussing in any form in our family, not even the "softer" cussing like g*sh and d*rn. But then you get in to all sorts of discussions about just what is cussing and what isn't. It seems it's human nature to need expletives of some kind, even if it's just "Oh!" or "Flitter!" or other such nonsense. But then you get the questions of how close is too close. G*sh is bad, but what about "oh, goodness!". D*rn is forbidden, but how about "drat"?

Which is the one that trips me up. And Hermione catches it every time. "I thought drat was a bad word?" Poor baby. We try to be consistent, but it's so hard sometimes isn't it?

The good Lord certainly knew what he was doing when he gave me these two. They have stretched my mind and my abilities beyond anything I knew possible. My heart overflows with love I never knew was in my grasp. And every day, I feel just a little more humbled to be their mother, entrusted with their spiritual care until they are old enough to make those decisions on their own.

Because most days, they're the ones doing the teaching.

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