Is it possible to teach our children too well? To instill something in them so deeply that it comes back to haunt us later?
I’d say absolutely, yes.
On a recent Saturday, we were headed to a friend’s house to watch football, and we were running about 15 minutes late. It doesn’t happen to us often, because we don’t like to be late to things. But on this day, my recipe took a little longer than I thought, and we were behind schedule.
So the car-trip over was a special kind of torture as each of our three kids lamented that we were late. Even though 15 minutes in football basically means you missed two sets of downs and one batch of commercials. And despite the fact that we were STILL the first ones to arrive.
Didn’t matter. We were late.
Then we went to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, and spent the day prior walking through the French Quarter. As we stood in Jackson Square watching my youngest daughter throw pennies into a fountain, one of my older kids whisper-yelled in my ear, “They are trying to take a picture. We need to move.”
What? Really? We have to stop what we’re doing because someone else wants to take a picture? Obviously I believe in courtesy. I agree that if someone else is taking a picture, we want to be careful not to walk in front of their camera. But if we were there first, we have to move because they need a picture?
I’m totally not kidding.
My youngest daughter is so adamant about the “Don’t text and drive” campaign that she loses her mind if I even touch my phone while I’m behind the wheel. Even if the car is stopped. At a red light. All she knows is that we aren’t supposed to use our phones while we’re operating a vehicle. Whether the car is moving or not is irrelevant in her six-year-old mind.
We don’t often use bad grammar, exceed the speed limit or marinate our dinner in wine (they are underage, after all). The price is just too high.
Maybe it’s because we’re too black-and-white. We have no room for grey. Maybe we should focus on the “spirit of the law” rather than the “letter of the law.”
Maybe this is really nothing to complain about at all. ♥