A Candid Letter To My Four Oldest Children

Dear 20-something young, adult children (now, that’s an oxymoron!),

Woman Writing by Edouard Manet
wikipaintings.org

It has come to my attention that you have once again been critiquing the behaviour of your 3 youngest siblings.  You think I can’t hear you, but I’m mom, remember?  I’m everywhere.

I notice that you have (mostly) stopped your worldly judgements of sibling #5 since he is at the stage of limbo – not quite up to par with you but only slightly past your bratty younger siblings.

About limbo.  Our beloved Pope Benedict XVI has written that there is no such state or place.  Sadly, I must disagree with the Pontiff.  He has never had to tell you 4 to get the dishes washed or put away your clean laundry or turn out the lights before you got to bed.  Limbo is found at our house and it is the state in which your parents’ lips are moving in your general direction but you stare back blankly.  On second thought, I stand corrected.  The Pope is right, again.  That’s not Limbo; that’s a black hole.

Anyway, back to my original thought……..

I am entertained by your wise comments:  “We were never like that.”  “What’s wrong with (them)?”  and my favourite……..”I never did that.”

Uh huh.  Right.

I remember many years ago, when you were all shorter than I am, a much younger colleague of your dad would often stop by for dinner.  Not only did he like my cooking, he was also amused by the household antics. He once remarked how he learned that the greatest parenting lesson is the phrase “go to your room,” since he heard it ad nauseam at our house.

Sometimes you tell me that you have concerns about the state of my long-term memory.  So do I, but there’s a wealth of events, situations and general mayhem that my addled frontal lobe manages to retain.  Maybe it’s because there were many times in your superlative younger years that I wanted to tear my hair out – or maybe yours.  So many times I wondered what kind of parents were raising such hellions – until I was forced to admit it was me and your poor dad.

It seems I’m not the only one with memory deficits.  I think you inherited it from me.  So, to refresh your memory, let me remind you of a few things:

  • the phone call from the principal because you had gotten hold of a laser pointer and were shining it all over the board while the teacher was talking
  • the phone call from the principal because you and an equally obnoxious boy in your class thought that punching the tar out of each other was great recess fun
  • the brilliant idea to eat unconsecrated Hosts in the sacristy because they tasted like crackers and you were hungry.  Don’t get me started on the unconsecrated altar wine.
  • biking into a van that was backing out of a driveway
  • eating heaping spoonfuls of sugar out of the sugar bowl and blaming the toddler (who is now one of you).  Come to think of it, you blamed him for everything.
  • smearing decongestant cold rub all over your baby brother (who is also one of you)

You know, you’re absolutely right.  The 3 youngest – the 4 youngest for that matter –  don’t act like you.  Maybe you trained your dad and me so well that the younger ones never had a chance.  Despite all that and more, your dad and I are very proud of how you turned out.  We’re so glad we resisted the urge to put you up for adoption.

However, before you say anything more about the young apples of my eye, let me ask you this:

  • have you washed the dishes?
  • did you put away your laundry?
  • who left the lights on in the kitchen last night?

Love, Mom

Deo Gratias

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13 Responses to A Candid Letter To My Four Oldest Children

  1. This is every mom’s post! We ALL can identify.

  2. Lisa says:

    This is hilarious Terry!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Melissa AtLee says:

    I see my future flashing before my eyes…:-)

  4. SR says:

    It does not get any, any, any better than this!! I loved it!!! How many memories it brough back! God Bless, SR

  5. Tom K says:

    Thanks for confirming my discernment for celibacy. I would love to read what their comeback to this is.

  6. SR says:

    Every mother needs to read this also:>) So does every grown kid, who thinks they are grown:>)) God Bless, SR

  7. tnealtarver says:

    Well written and hilarious. I didn’t realize how much my parenting skills now are focused on the dog until I read this (only son has left us empty nesters).

    • Thanks for dropping by and for your kind words. I don’t think parenting skills ever go away. We just transfer them to other people and pets. I love what you wrote at the top of your home page “Curious about living and following Christ in community.”

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