2 days ago, as I chit-chatted with a friend before our faculty leaders meeting, he said, "On Sunday I saw Scott picking up your girls from youth group. They raced to the car, pushing and shoving, competing for the front seat. Then the one who lost punched the winner."
He laughed heartily.
"Wow, great. . ." I said.
He chuckled, "It just made me feel so good! We're not the only parents with kids who act like that."
As the father of 4 girls, he should know. He added, "Of course, now that we only have one kid at home, it's not a problem anymore."
So there's hope. The hope of empty nest.
Luckily, I feel comfortable enough with this friend that I didn't sink through the floor that he witnessed what regularly happens in our home. Usually our kids are smart enough to keep their shenanigans out of public view, but apparently church youth group took them over the edge.
But what can I expect? I fought non-stop with my siblings. Even when I was in GRADUATE SCHOOL, during a family trip to England I got into a squabble with my 13 year old brother. I didn't punch him, but I was mean enough to make him cry.
Yup. Not proud of it, but that's where my kids get it from.
There's nothing from my past or present that knows how to help my kids stop shrieking, shoving, and slapping one another. Especially since I can't seem to stop myself from terrible behaviors when I'm mad either.
But even if it was mortifying that my friend witnessed our version of GirlFight, there was something extremely encouraging knowing that his girls also go at it. Interacting with them over the years, his girls always look poised, friendly, smart and kind. They also seem to love each other and enjoy one another’s company. All 3 of his girls who’ve left home, have written letters saying they (finally) realized they have an awesome family and amazing parents.
That's my hope and prayer. Unlike the feedback from the kid who said last night, "I hate family dinner more than anything," I want to someday receive affirmation from our kids that we did OK, or even more, better than OK.
If we don't kill each other first.