Fortunately, I wrote this before my mom (pictured above at about the age of sixteen) died. When she read it, she nodded her head and muttered something like, “mm hmph.” (Best I could figure, that was short for “well what do you know she finally got it.”)

GROWING UP

When we are small our parents rule the world and us
When we are adolescents our parents rule the world and
embarrass us
When we move away from home
our parents no longer rule the world and
we begin to judge them
We begin to question their rule and vow never to do some things they did

Instead we will do it right

When we have children
we get to make the rules and
we learn tolerance–
our parents did
the best they could
Still we know we can do it better
If we try hard enough
we can do it right

When our children leave home
we suffer their judgment of our rules
and
we begin to wonder if
we did it right after all

Still we believe we did it better–
they are just too young to
understand

When our children have children
we see them repeat
the worst we did
in spite of their own
“I’ll never” vows and
we rediscover tolerance
Only this time it’s for ourselves

Finally,
when our children have children
we are old enough to understand that
like our parents we can only
do our best and
no matter how hard we try
our best will not always be better

When our children have children
we finally learn humility

Lynn Moreland  3/26/99