Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Indignity of Parenthood

After I dropped Ellie off at school this morning,

I saw a dad standing on the corner by the school wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt COVERED in neon orange, pink and yellow child-size hand prints.

Kinda like this but NEON. With WAY more pink.
And long-sleeved.
I like details.

My first reaction was,

"Awww, that sweet dad is honoring his daughters 
(obviously daughters:  neon pink was involved) 
by wearing that shirt in public."

Then another reaction quickly followed,

"Dude, man up! Have some dignity!"

The dad was hole-punching the kids' passports who walked or biked to school.
(The school promotes a Walk/Bike to school Wednesdays.
Ellie is in the 5th grade and therefore feels "over it". So I drove.)

Then I felt bad again and was back to the,

"Aww, he volunteered at school AND wore the t-shirt that obviously was gifted to him by his daughters. 
So. Sweet!"

Then I saw that he was standing next to a tandem bike.

I went right back to,

"Seriously? You are going to stand there with a pink hand print shirt on in front of a tandem bike--wait, is that a basket on the bike?! Dude…!"

I know.

I know.

I know!
(I never say dude. Why did I  "thought judge" it?)

Good thing the light turned green because there was ALL KINDS of "thought judging" going on from the Manvan.

Thought judging.

You know, the judgements I would NEVER say aloud

good Christian woman that I am

but have no trouble open-hand slapping 
the poor dad with 
in my mind.

I felt convicted as I drove home and thought of all the ways that Monte and I have traded dignity for parenthood.

I actually started chuckling as I thought of SEVERAL examples:

•Like when I was at my sister-in-law's wedding rehearsal dinner sick from the early stages of pregnancy with Ellie and McDaniel, just 3 years old at the time, decided to put little tiny braids 
all over my hair while everyone ate. I was too tired and ill to say no and it kept her occupied. 
Then, everyone became very aware of my "do" and started laughing.


Or the time

•McDaniel was an infant and we met Monte at the mall for lunch and she did one of those 
"explosive poops" all over her outfit and his silk tie. I ran to buy her a new outfit and he went 
to change her in the family bathroom. I came back to find that he had filled the sink 
in the bathroom with water and was soaking his silk tie in it to clean it. 
I left to go buy him a new tie so he could get back to work.

How do you go back to work after you have been 
explosively pooped on?

You trade in your dignity, that's how.

You know, the Lord didn't even let me pull into my driveway before flooding me with example after example of my own parenthood indignities.

Speaking of floods:

•Many years ago we had a leak, right over the piano in the living room, that came from 
the bathroom upstairs. The plumber discovered that there was a clog in the bathtub pipe 
due to a little plastic doll that McDaniel had shoved down the drain--no doubt to see if 
her bathing suit would change colors. Remember that girl from the Fisher-Price dollhouse 
whose bathing suit would turn red in heat and pink in cold? The plumber didn't even have 
the tact to "thought judge" me. He judged me right to my face,

"Well, if you had been watching your daughter in the bathtub, ma'am, you could have saved yourself a lot of money!"

Watching her?! More than likely I was in there with her and a boat load of bubbles and other toys.

How quickly the tables can turn!

The Lord was faithful to smack me with the plank in my own eye as I sat there judging the speck of sawdust in that dad's. (Matthew 7:3-5)

But here is the thing:

It isn't sawdust at all. 

The crazy things we are willing to do for our kids.

I'd do all those indignant moments over again.

•I'd line up to get the crazy Jamaican braids.

•I'm sure Monte would sign up to get explosively pooped on.

•And I'd still let McDaniel bathtub play with the Fisher-Price doll with the cool temperature sensitive bathing suit, even though I knew the drain cover wasn't glued down anymore.

The same is true, no doubt, for that dad this morning

wearing that neon pink hand print shirt

standing in front of his tandem bike
that may or may not have had a basket.

God bless him.

katherines corner


  1. So you're stepping on all ten of my toes. I can do some serious thought judging. :-( I may not utter 99% of it out loud, but even if it stays inside, it still needs cleaning out. Thanks for sharing this story. I love that dude. :-)

  2. Thank you, Lisa!

  3. God bless him and God bless you!

  4. Yes, Mindy, God bless him! Thanks!

  5. God bless him!
    follow from Thursday Blog Hop.
    would be nice if you can visit and link up
    Have a nice day


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