Stories & Children

Feeling Safe As A Family

At 4:am, my head finally sank into the overly soft pillow in the attic bedroom.  I had been waiting all night for the last child to arrive for the Thanksgiving holidays at the cabin we rented in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

I was thankful indeed, as I lay completely peaceful knowing that once again all of our children were under one roof.  If I listened intently, I could almost hear each of them breathe, though they were sleeping on different levels of the three-story cabin that we found nestled in the Tennessee Mountains, surroun...

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Crying Child

Being in a plane with a child screaming to the top of their lungs is not only hard on the parents, but also on those around them. “She’s just throwing a tantrum, said the man sitting near me.  It’s her mother’s fault.” He said it loud enough for the young mother to hear the comment, too.

The little girl making all the noise was about 18 months old, and no amount of consoling from her frazzled mother would soothe her.

I was flying home from a conference in Atlanta and feeling really sorry for the yo...

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Embarrassing the Kids

When our children were teenagers one of the things they hated most was when I used coupons to buy groceries, or when I would count out change from my purse instead of handing over dollar bills or a credit card.

Little things embarrassed them; like the time I cut a coupon from the newspaper for a bucket of chicken.  I stopped at the intercom of the fast food drive-in sign and ordered the fried chicken, but failed to tell them I had a coupon.

When I drove up to the window, I showed them my discount coupon, but they said they coul...

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Separation Anxiety Not Just Kids Stuff

The first day of college was pretty much the same as the first day of grammar school in our family. There was anxiety, fear of the unknown, tears and a slight longing to retreat back into that comfortable place at home called the nest.

It is called separation anxiety. We understand it completely when our children cling to us the first time we are separated from them.

But what do we call it when it happens to the parents? It is labeled the “empty nest” syndrome. I experienced symptoms with each child as we packed up ...

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Children Do As They See

The old man was small and stooped over.  His steps were careful as he carried his tray to the table in the restaurant where I was having dinner. I could see relief in his face and muscles as he reached his destination, set his load down and eased his weak body into a chair. The woman sitting down beside him was his daughter.

When the man had difficulty cutting his meat, she very patiently took the knife from his hand and cut the large portion into small pieces, perhaps the same way he did for her when she was a child. It is always ver...

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Sarcasm Can Leave Emotional Scars

When my friend walked by my desk looking really sharp in her stylish, black suit, I remarked how great she looked.  She said she had just come out of a senior management meeting. “Is that your senior management suit?” I asked. We laughed and she said something funny to me about my casual dress.

We were being a little sarcastic and it was funny. It lightened up our day because we're friends and wouldn't do anything to hurt each other.

But there are times when sarcasm really hurts. Even the word itself can lea...

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Barefoot Summer

Our bare feet grew tough, our hair turned gold and our bodies browned and freckled in the sun that pursued us on long hot summer days.

Across the dirt road where we lived, there was an old abandoned building.  Bushes, high grass and broken tree limbs hid it from the road, but we found it and made it our secret clubhouse.

We swept the dust from one side of the room to the other and put a cardboard box in the middle of the huge open space for a table and cement blocks around for chairs.

Underneath the cardboard box table w...

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