The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Family

May 8, 2006

5-7 Apparently So parenting column by Craig Harris

It was one of those unexpected moments in parenting when you are able to break through and possibly make a lasting difference in the life of one of your children. It seems moments like these just happen — they are never planned or expected, but occur when circumstances suddenly align.

I was installing a motion detector light on the front of our house. My nine-year-old daughter was standing beside the ladder watching. Occasionally, she would hand me a tool or ask a question. No big deal, really. Then I realized I needed to run to the hardware store to buy an electric box. They cost less than a dollar, but I didn’t have one and had no choice but to drive around the loop to get it.

That’s when it happened. Savannah wanted to ride with me. So we hopped into my truck and began our quest. The good thing about a trip like this is there is time for conversation. No one’s in a big hurry or fretting about the trip. It’s a great chance to talk and listen, so that’s what we did.

The atmosphere in the cab was open and friendly, so I suddenly asked her, "Do you think your mother and I are proud of you?"

She thought for a moment and then said, "Well, I think you were proud when I won the trophy for “Shoot, Pass and Kick."

This was terribly interesting — and I might add, a bit terrible. She was referring to a trophy she had won at a church sporting event two years ago. It upset me that she felt she had to refer to a specific winning moment. Where did that come from? Have we shown her that the only way to make us proud is through conquest in sports? I certainly hope not.

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