My son just turned 13-years-old last week. He is officially a teenager now. I had the privilege of accompanying him on his field trip earlier this week. It was actually a lot of fun, not that I didn't think it would be, but that's a lot of middle schoolers and a lot of hormones... (My hat is off to any teacher of middle schoolers!) The kids were great. Really and truly they were. They even dressed up nice for our visit to the theater. They were so cute in their fancy dresses, plaid shirts, and bow ties.
We were sitting at lunch, when one of the boys leaned over and asked me,
"How many times did you take your brown belt test before you passed?"
I smiled and told him. Three. I'm not embarrassed. I'm proud that I didn't quit. Three. That's how many times it took me to pass my Brown 2 test. It kind of sucked, but I learned a lot about myself in the process. Now you might be thinking it's weird to think my son was bragging about me by talking about how I didn't pass my test, but it matters to know what the class has been studying: grit. This isn't science class, and I don't mean sand or grinding of the teeth. I mean John Wayne-stand-your-ground-determination-strength-of-character-never-back-down kind of grit. My son and I haven't talked much about it since it happened, and I've moved on and passed my black belt test now. But he was watching. Our kids are always watching.
I mess up much more often than I'd like, but I also know that it's okay to apologize to my kids and try again. I'm always amazed at how much grace they have to offer me. I'm pretty stoked that my little-big man thought I was cool enough to brag about to his peers. He even thought I was cool enough to sit by on the bus on the way to the theater. THAT was a stellar day.
It's intriguing to hear about what our kids say about us when we're not around. Have you ever caught your kids bragging (or complaining!) about you? How did it make you feel? Proud or maybe a reminder that you need to pay some attention to a character issue? I've done both. I'd love to hear about your experiences. Please share below.