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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Browns In Town

For some reason, parents assume their children will grow up to be perfect in every respect, regardless of the gene pool from which they came. Some of the worst parents have the best children, and some of the best parents produce offspring which give rise to speculation the mother really was abducted and impregnated by an alien. Though it may sound a little crass, even somewhat fatalistic, having children is a crapshoot.

The biggest problem parents face in raising children falls within the category I call “handling expectations.” Too their credit, most parents do a pretty decent job in getting their children from the cradle to college without killing them somewhere along the way. Children are born with a limited lifetime warranty, which is invalidated within hours of birth or shortly after the child realizes his or her world has suddenly and, unbeknownst to him or her at the moment, forever changed.

Unfortunately, new parents can’t simply return the “merchandise,” because it doesn’t fit, isn’t the right color, doesn’t look like the picture in the catalog, or doesn’t work properly. And, since infanticide is a criminal act, parents are stuck with a product they are often ill-equipped to operate.

It’s a good thing God made grandparents, especially grandmothers. Children need grandparents, preferably two sets of them. Grandparents, having survived rearing their own children, are endowed with a special wisdom, which can be most helpful to a child’s parents, especially during the early years of child-rearing when parenting skills are in the developmental stage.

My sister, Sarah, who has often stated, “I have raised two of the most ungrateful children, God ever let breathe,” will become a grandmother around April 10, 2008, or else “in the fullness of time.”

Oh, her son and daughter are not as ungrateful as she would have one believe. In fact she may have set her expectations of them too high. Even if she were the perfect mother, her children had a less than perfect father, and she’d be the first to so attest.

Sarah’s son, Brett, and his wife, Kathy, are expecting their first child. Presently, the parents-to-be are residents of Pearl, Mississippi. Brett is employed by Affiliated Computer Services and Kathy is in her final year of Medical School at the University of Mississippi. Together, the two have a bright financial future.

Brett and Kathy were in Pontotoc over the weekend to share their good news and sonogram prints of the “child within” with family and friends.

Sarah viewed the reason for their visit somewhat differently, “Brett only came home to get his birthday present.”

While, it’s true Brett’s birthday was this past week, and he doesn’t come back very frequently to see his mother, it’s not like he and Kathy live just across the Pontotoc County line.

It’s a three-hour drive for them, and my advice to Sarah is, “Cut him some slack, Sis.”

That which will be most interesting to me, should I live long enough for it all to play out, will be to find out if an imperfect son can sire a perfect grandchild.

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About Me

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I'm a native of Pontotoc, MS, and graduated Pontotoc High School in 1960. I received a BS degree in Mathematics from The University of Mississippi in 1965. My wife Barbara and I have two children and five grandchildren and one great grandchild. We make our home in Pontotoc.