Children Seldom Misquote You!

Brayden in the Pumpkin Patch Larry/Kim 2009

Written for CARRY ON TUESDAY

“Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.” Anonymous

I hope that Keith doesn’t mind if I use this quote rather than the one he chose. I am in love with our children and grandchildren! Love does last beyond the grave in that we give our children all we have and when we are gone, they keep our memories alive. “Some love lasts a lifetime, true love lasts forever” is just a lovely thought but if our children or grandchildren decide to quote our words, love would not come to mind.
We often want to run and hide when company comes. We try to shush the youngest who is repeating what daddy said about the neighbors. The child will quiet down after a while but the damage in done. You will hear the little person say, “I was just saying!” from the chair in the corner. So goes life in a family.
Now you see I have been a teacher in a past life. At the age of 20 I entered a classroom of 4th graders in a small rural town in Oregon. I was as little prepared to do that job as I was to become a mother three years later. Students confounded me, I did not like to teach a music class I was assigned and at the age of 20, I was not prepared to deal with things my students would say. I wanted to laugh at their “show and tell” stories but knew I shouldn’t. It was really hard not to.
“Show and tell” could be a very boring time of the day for a teacher…endless stories about kittens and lost dogs would start each day. Then, when I least expect it, the perfectly innocent child would get up and reveal a family secret or tell what mom or dad had said. I wanted to run from the classroom.
One day the little red headed child of a prominent church leader told about his dad’s bottle of whiskey in the freezer and then warned everyone in the classroom not to tell. “It is a secret?” he said. On another occasion a fellow teacher listened as one of her students told about sneaking down the hall and listening at his parent’s locked bedroom door. I don’t remember if he told what he had heard…I am sure his teacher stopped that story very early on. See what I mean. I’m sorry, but you just have to appreciate that there are NO secrets in a family’s home if they decide to bear children!
Love may not last forever but these stories live on! For my own part, I did not tell on the parents, not for a long time anyway. I somehow knew that my turn would come! So, those of us that have children and grandchildren are at the risk of being part of a story at anytime!
In fact, it works the other way too. Our children are the subject of our stories…and probably don’t particularly like it. I know my granddaughter doesn’t…but I tell them anyway. The story about “the ipod earbuds up your nose” is a prime example. There are so many others that I would need to consult with other people and take notes. Keith anonymous quote “Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.” is just perfect. It started my day off with a bang! Thank you Keith! b

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