The Garden of Parenthood

It is both horrifying and humbling to see your less desirable traits in your child, knowing those seeds were both planted and watered by your behaviors. Shaped by Houston traffic {Bless our hearts!} and a most severely lacking fruit of the spirit, patience, this instance brought to light the Biblical truth of reaping what you sow.

Firmly planted in the charming tween stage with my daughter, I am mindful that we are three short years away from a driving permit and four from letting her loose with a license. My husband and I both recognize that while Caroline might be in the backseat texting and scrolling “Insta,” she still sees and hears ALL — and our example will be replicated for good or bad. Personally, I came to this intensely real understanding when she was three.

On any given day, I’m the person behind the Houston driver who has completely lost his/her mind. IT. NEVER. FAILS.  And, don’t even get me started about distracted drivers. I will openly admit to checking my phone for a text if I’m at the beginning of the red light, but I do not begin searching ALL my social medias and missing the light’s change to “GO!”  When I’m behind those individuals who are blissfully unaware of the light change due to a cute puppy video or a shocking revelation on Facebook by a high school acquaintance, my general comment is, “Move it sister/dude; I don’t have all day!” Generally, in concert with a “Beep! Beep!” from my horn. This is also the same response in parking lots when people are taking FOREVER to get strapped in, start the car, turn on the radio … well, minus the “Beep! Beep!” {Did I mention patience is not my strongest attribute?}

Garden of Parenthood 2It was a typical after work run to Target. In addition to the other items I never knew I needed until we walked in the doors, we actually needed a pink t-shirt for Caroline’s Halloween costume. At the checkout stand, Caroline was happily sitting in the front of the cart, and I had my credit card at the ready to pay. The conveyor belt came to a halt as the young lady checking us out experienced difficulties getting the t-shirt to scan. She ran the tag over the scanner, took out the gun, ran it over the scanner, took out the gun, ran it over the scanner … and then it happened … my own words coming from a three-year-old, “Move it sister; we don’t have all day!” I could see the look of loathing slowly bubbling up to the surface as the clerk immediately stopped her efforts to scan the item.

OH! MY! STARS! Horrified, my first thought was, “Do I blame this on her father?” {Yes, that was actually my first thought; I have confessed this to him.} No, I can’t because she would TOTALLY rat me out! Amazing how fast your brain works when it is searching for an out! Then, humbled, I apologized profusely to the store clerk and told Caroline, “We should not say things like that, and I need to stop talking to people like that when we are in the car.” {And, yes, she has had to remind me of these words in the car a time or two … or one hundred … as recently as last week.}

I know on the spectrum of things, there are MANY worse sentences/ phrases/ words I could have passed along to her, and in all honesty, I’m 100% certain there have been some. As actual human and not divine beings, we have to afford ourselves some grace. I will never be a perfect mom or perfect person, always saying and doing the right things. And while I strive for much more good than bad, I know our children learn just as much when we are honest with them about our shortcomings. We also have the opportunity to teach them to take responsibility for mistakes – something sorely lacking in our culture today. {I’m obviously pointing that finger in my direction as well!}

As my daughter approaches her teen years, I know there will be a role reversal, and I know she will be both horrified and humbled by things she will experience due to the actions and reactions of her parents. I could go on and on about the atrocities perpetrated by my mother against me during my teen years. But now, as the mother who is quickly watching my years of influence fly by, my prayer for Caroline is that she will cultivate a beautiful garden with the many seeds she is planting, and when weeds pop up, she will use the compost of those weeds to strengthen a healthy, balanced approach to life – basking in the sunlight, but realizing in the darkest of times that there are opportunities for growth … sowing and reaping.

Garden of Parenthood

Candace Bio UpdatedAbout Candace D.

Born and raised in Houston, Candace cannot imagine living anywhere else.  She resides in Meyerland with her husband, Keith – a New Englander, and their daughter, Caroline {July 2004}.   Candace works full-time at Houston Baptist University – her alma mater – and is the Director of Events, where her office scheduled and guided the logistics for more than 13,000 events this past academic year.  In her free-time, Candace enjoys volunteering, hosting parties in her home, and travelling with her family.  While on a Disney trip recently, they experienced the “magic” like only Disney can provide … an upgrade to the Presidential Suite … a once in a lifetime experience!  Next up is an East Coast tour!


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