Our kids aren't perfect. They're just normal kids-they fight, argue, "forget" to do chores, don't feed the pets, don't empty the litter box, don't clean their room. You get the picture. They're ordinary average kids.
But wait, they're something more and that's what I want to tell you about today. Our kids are regular members of our house, as such they are expected to do awful things like empty and load the dishwasher, clean their bathroom, scoop the cats box daily, pooper-scoop the dog mess in the yard, take out the trash and other mundane tasks that have to be done for any household to work. They do not receive an allowance (I know all the arguments for giving allowance so please don't use this as a debate starter). I don't believe in paying kids to do household tasks. If they don't want to eat then they don't have to do dishes. If they want to get rid of their cats they don't have to scoop. You get the picture. But in exchange they get a home complete with a comfy bed, three meals a day-most days, television with cable, internet access, bicycles, trampoline, traveling volleyball, soccer, swimming, tap, archery, countless 4-H events and trips and to top it all off they are loved deeply and prayed for constantly. We purchase all their necessary items: clothing, shoes, hair cuts, school supplies, etc. They really don't want for anything but they know as members of our family there are the above expectations in exchange for their "stuff."
A year and a half ago, my parents moved caddy-wompus across the street from us. I'm proud to say that our kids have stepped up many times they don't even realize the importance of what they are doing. At least once a day I hear a kid shout, "Mom, I'm going to Grandma's" and the door slams as they run around the corner. What do they do at Grandma and Papaw's house you might ask, well sometimes they just pop in and say hi! Other times they get out ingredients and make a batch of cookies-always cleaning up their mess when they're finished. They might vacuum the carpets or mop the floor. Sometimes one of them creates a masterpiece on Grandma's embroidery machine. And sometimes they just go hang out-play on the laptop or watch some TV. They just are there, being with their grandparents. (Let me clarify-in the year and a half they've lived here I can count the times on one hand we've used them as a babysitter-Grandma has been surprised at how we always take care of our kids and make arrangements with friends to help when we need it-I guess that comes from living 4 hours away for so many years.)
With the recent rains, another responsibility pops up, lovely sodded bermuda yards! Two of them and our yard has the equivalent of two yards by itself! Again, the kids are expected to help-age appropriately of course. Melissa is a whiz on the riding lawn mower, she does an amazing job! Anna and I use the push mower and Jessica empties the bags for me while Ted edges and weed eats. We work well together, almost like a well orchestrated symphony. Okay, I lie. They often complain especially when it is H-O-T outside about mowing OUR yard! But you know what they never grumble about going and doing it for Grandma and Papaw! They don't get paid unless you count the love and cookies. The girls do it because they have been taught love and respect is important. We have shown them that caring for others is simply a way of life and we are simply crazy blessed to have the ability to do for them.
I guess what I want to impart this morning is whether our kids are perfect or not, they are always learning. They pay attention to every action and reaction we have and in turn imitate it. I don't know if we're doing this parent thing right or wrong but I do know we are crazy blessed to have three young ladies who care deeply about others and are always willing to go that extra mile.
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