Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Mommy Patrol

I'm reading an interesting book by Catherine Palmer called The Happy Room. It deals with the adult lives of three siblings whose parents dumped them in a boarding school while they pursued mission work in Africa. One embraced the faith, one rejected it, and one was suicidal in teenhood, anorexic in adulthood.

I'm not about to put down missionary work, and I know that parents who are overly zealous for ANY cause can leave their children to fend for themselves while M&D carry on with "important work."

But the theme of faith- whatever faith we happen to be- and whether or not our kids will embrace that faith is on my mind now, mostly because both of my kids will be participating in See You At The Pole tomorrow. For those who may not know, SYATP started with a few high school kids in Texas who decided to pray for their friends, their teachers and administrators, and their schools. The school's flagpole seemed a natural place to gather. It caught on, and now middle school, junior high, and high school students around the world gather around the flagpoles of their schools on the third Wednesday of September to pray.

I go on riffs my family calls Mommy Patrol. Did you:
Do your homework?
Brush your teeth?
Take care of the dog?
Make sure the dog didn't eat the gerbils?
Put your laundry away?
Clean your roommakeyourbedhangupyourtoweletc, etc.

I wonder if they really hear me at all anymore, or if I just sound like Charlie Brown's teacher- waa waa WAH waa.

But now as they head into their teen years with bewildering speed, the Mommy Patrol reminders of "Did you pray?" seem to be lessening. Dh and I recognise that they can't coast on our faith anymore- they must find out what THEY believe, and have their own relationship with God. But we still have to draw some lines, and OMIGOSH WHERE DO YOU DRAW THEM? We've tried to raise them not being told what to think, but how to judge. Although I have instilled in them that Britney Spears is of the devil.

My mom gave me the greatest Christian parenting advice I've ever had- don't make Jesus your bad cop. And we've tried to make sure that our zeal has been an inspiration, not a burden, because even though serving people is a noble pursuit, with us they come first.

Both my kids made their professions of faith early on, but I think you really have to make it again in your teens. I don't mind if they think they were raised right, but I want them to be able to say "I'm a Christian because I chose to be, not because my parents would strike my name from the will if I wasn't."

I guess the point of all this- ah, heck, I don't know what the point is. My kids are great, good, and decent people that I like as much as I love. And I'll just have to have faith that they will navigate these years with grace.

But the first little significant other that breaks their hearts? Mommy Patrol's in town.


Anonymous Sharon said...

I drove by our flag pole today, and the sad thing is, I couldn't help but wonder how long it'll be before some freak starts screaming about their rights being violated because they were "subjected" to students praying around a flag pole.

Thankfully, here in Texas, freak outbursts are for the most part ignored *g* I told my husband in other parts of the country, our school district would already have been sued 14 times.

Oy don't get me started...

6:51 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

And they'll keep freaking despite the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled SYATP is legal.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous nessili said...

"Train up a child in the way they should go..." Sounds like you did just fine if your children are willing to take a public stand for their faith :)
I grew up in OKC, and we had prayers over the intercom in the mornings and at all the games, and a pastor did our baccalaureate. Wonder if that'd still be allowed today. Probably not. Would we still do it? Probably.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Jolene said...

We usually go SYATP, but this year I didn't get to. I know, kinda redundant for homeschooled students. But, even more people ask questions when you turn one of your younger sisters into a flag pole and stand around her. :)


4:02 AM  

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