Breaking the rules

Yesterday was the annual Christmas party for my Dad’s side of the family.  In spite of one carsick little boy, we made it to my Aunt Maureen’s house, where Manie and I discovered that our daughters are now at the age where they simply take off when they see their cousins and start playing without so much as a backwards glance.  Our oldest son has now reached the age where he wants to socialize with everyone (as soon as he tallies who is in the room and ascertains Manie and my locations), and our baby guy is, of course, a big fan of that famous party game, “Pass the Baby.”  My cousins and I are, of course, all adults now (I am 40, and only two of them are younger than I), and it’s simply amazing to see most of their children grown up, several of them with kids of their own.  At any given family gathering, there are at least 3 generations present, and sometimes as many as 5.  It is an incredible blessing to have such a large and loving extended family.


Incidentally, if our youngest daughter ever visits your house, hide the candy canes and M&Ms.  You will thank me for this advice unless you are so oversupplied that you wish to reduce your inventory by half 😉  Our older son, however, is a green bean fanatic, and thoroughly endeared himself to his older cousins by rendering major assistance in the vegetable demolition department.  After all, if your twenty-one-month-old cousin eats your green beans for you, you have much more room for cookies, candy, and cake, right?


Last night, I read an article that several friends had posted on Facebook . . .

. . . with a glib comment attached, for which I was rightly taken to task by an old high school friend.  Sometimes it’s tough to remember that the quick, snappy rejoinder doesn’t convey accurate meaning, especially when I’ve been awake for 17 hours, 6 of which were spent driving.  I know that I’ve thoughtlessly popped out with something that made our children’s faces crumple, and spent half an hour reassuring one or more of them that what they heard was not what I meant.  This morning, I passed a like amount of time clarifying a remark that I made in haste; thankfully, this time I was talking to adults.  As usual, I am grateful to have a group of friends who love me enough to tell me when I sound boorish or cruel; they are a great strength and a greater blessing.


Today’s prayer:  Lord, let me teach Your blessings that every part of life has some sort of rule that governs it; You set the example of this, by giving us only ten of them, knowing that Your children are a thickheaded lot.  When I fail in my duty to instruct my children in proper conduct, help me give them an example of humility by accepting the responsibility for my omissions; when they are wronged by another, help me give them an example of charity in my response to the person who has wronged them.  It is so easy, Lord, to be shrill.  Thank You for the voice You have given me, and the voices You have given Your blessings.  Please help me give them a better example of how You want us to use that gift.


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