Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#107 - Pleas for Help

Being people of faith we tend to spend a lot of time chatting with Heavenly Father on behalf of our children. I'd say we spend that time on our knees, but Mrs. Woody and I both have difficulty doing that, so we assume the attitude if not the actual position.

I have children from my previous marriage. They both have (and have had) challenges in their lives, and they meet them in unique ways. My son recently went through one of those life lessons that give parents grey(er) hair, and we're still waiting to see if he actually learned that lesson this time. Time will tell. He's just recently turned 18 and is eager the give the world the ol' Adolescent What-For. I wish him better luck than I had at that age.

My daughter, on the other hand, tends to meet her challenges head-on. She tries - instinctively - to stay on top of her game. She and her hubby have done a tremendous job raising their little girl (yes, Woody is a Grandpa... proud of it, too!), and generally trying to maintain their collective sanity in Maryland. Her hubby is career Air Force, and they're just riding out their posting until they can muster out (if need be) and return to California. They really want to come back. We'd love to have them back.

You might think, based on my generally glowing descriptions, that the Woodyettes don't cause us much air-time with heaven. Far from it. We homeschool these sharp-as-a-tack youngsters, and the need for guidance to be effective both as teachers and as parents is keenly felt. I'm sure that Mrs. Woody pleads on their behalf more than I do, but we both recognize just how important it is that these young ladies get the right start in life.

As parents we continually face all the usual challenges of training young minds to recognize the differences between right and wrong, and to understand the need for accepting responsibility for what we do. It's a huge job, and based on all four of my children I can report that I have had varying degrees of success thus far. I would classify my eldest daughter as a definite success. My son has hit that magical age where the world owes him, so I'm holding my breath for the time being. He's a good kid, but he's 18. 'Nuff said.

The Woodyettes are, obviously, works in progress. At 8 and 6 they still have lots to learn, and this issue of personal accountability is one of the trickiest. They may be adorable in nearly every way, but Daddy can't afford to get distracted. Mrs. Woody is better at it than I am, but even she can occasionally overlook certain transgressions that probably should have been addressed as soon as they were discovered.

Even with all the challenges, the payoffs can be huge. Every success - small or large - is cause for celebration. Some celebrations can be as large as was the success. Others are quiet; an opportunity for a hug and a snuggle, and Daddy saying, "I sure am proud of you!" Then enjoy the smile on that little face.

Then remember to thank Heavenly Father for my kids, before moving on to the next request for help.

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