Friday, April 22, 2011

On Being a Role Model

When my daughter, Liz, was in junior high, all of the kids had to take a "family life" class. I was never really clear about what was covered in it, except for that much of it was embarrassing. Other than that, course content was a secret that Liz guarded carefully.

I didn't pry because it was of no concern to me that she might learn about birth control or where babies come from, as I had already gone over these things with her. I'm not the type of person to hide facts from children who are ready to receive them.Thus, when Liz came home from school one day, clearly downcast about something, I was not prepared for what I heard about the source of it.

I was out in the front garden, vigorously chopping weeds with a hoe, green stuff flying here and there, dressed in my usual rubber boots (not fashionable back then), dirty t-shirt, and pants. I probably didn't smell that good, either. I gently probed to see if I could uncover the source of the child's unhappiness, without further distressing her, of course. The conversation went like this:

"Precious, you seem a little bit down today. Is something bothering you?"

"You know my family life class?" Liz replied.

My mind began buzzing with possibilities. Did they talk about AIDs and HIV? Had I failed to inform her about these things? What on earth could take her by surprise in such a class?

"Yes, honey, tell me what happened."

"Well, we were learned about role models today. Do you know what a role model is?"

Ah, a bit of the secret was leaking out! Maybe more would emerge. "Well yes, I studied the subject in my college psychology courses."

Without hesitation, and with a child's blithe assurance that parents are made of strong stuff indeed, she said, "Today I learned that you're my role model."


You might also enjoy:
  • On Being Friends  -  Friends broaden my perspective on things, like what makes a good pet.
  • Sharp Metal Objects - How I became a favorite great auntie.
  • Gate C  - Sometimes patience pays off, and sometimes it doesn't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Children certainly don't allow us to become puffed up in our own conceit, do they? However to be perfectly fair, didn't we all vow when we were young Never to become our parents?

It's good you got this in writing. Now you'll have something to laugh about when she has her own kids. :D