Being born and raised in the home of a Baptist preacher is a challenge from the start. You're always expected to be the best kids in church, you can't participate in a lot of activities with your friends outside of church (who are usually the deacons kids), basically you are held to a higher standard than other kids. I have to tell you.....I was a challenge to my parents. Yep...I know it's hard to believe, but I was. I only have one brother so I was not only cursed to be the youngest child but also the only girl. Can we say....uh oh from the get go!!!!
I wasn't exactly a BAD child....just the one who always pushed that one button you should never push with your parents. Anyone who knows my mama would tell you she was the easiest going person in the world. My daddy was always the disciplinarian in our family so my brother and I really did hear those famous words, "wait till your daddy gets home"!! But I VIVIDLY remember one time when I pushed my mama's button a little too hard and she showed me that she did know how to take care of business when needed!
I was probably 6 or 7 years old and we were having the Christmas program at church on a Sunday night. Back then we had a class on Sunday nights before the worship service so we had a little break between the class and the regular service. The men would go outside and gather to talk and the kids ran around a little bit. My mama told me very specifically that I was NOT to get dirty. I had the little frilly blue and white dress with the big bow in back and the lacy socks with black dress shoes. Very nice for a girly girl. But that wasn't me! Soooo.....
I went outside and was innocently playing bucking horse on top of the big propane tank with some friends (the deacons kids). My mama comes outside looking for me, sees me on the tank not quite as clean as I was earlier and then I saw a look in her eyes that I had never seen before....and I became a little afraid. She turned and walked to my daddy who was talking with the men. As I was sliding off the tank, I watched my daddy take his belt off and hand it to my mama......uh oh.....this was serious! This had never happened before so I wasn't quite sure where this was going but it did NOT look good!
My mother turned to me, gave me the "come here" sign with her finger. You know the one......one eyebrow up, one down, mouth pursed, jaw clenched, fingers all but shaking......this was gonna hurt! I s..l..o..w..l..y walked over to her. She took my hand, we went to the CAR....and she opened the back door telling me to get in. I did and when I turned around, there she was, in the back seat with me and that look was STILL on her face....but it was a lot scarier close up. She proceeded to "explain" to me why it was important to listen and obey what she tells me because now, I had to go in for the program, put on the angel wings (for my play part) smelling like propane. Not to mention how oily and dirty my dress and socks were. By the time she was through "explaining", I had a newfound respect for my mama. She could swat pretty hard for such a little lady.
This was only one incident out of many in my life where I had to have things "explained" to me. And even though they STILL can't believe I made it to adulthood and they made it through my childhood....I turned out pretty good.
I love my mama and daddy, and when I had children of my own, they laughed many times when I would have to "explain" things to my kids. My daddy always said that he prayed for each of his children to have at least ONE child of their own that was JUST like them......his prayers were answered. But now, I have the priviledge of praying for my children to all have one child JUST like them. They all have children now so I am sitting back waiting to smile at them while my prayers are answered!!!!! I figure it took LOTS of "explaining" and love but most of all prayer that helped me to live to be this old.