Image hosted by

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tough Love Taught Through Generations

The stories I have shared here about accidental abuse inflicted on myself or my children, are only the tip of the iceberg. Growing up in a virtual insane asylum, I witnessed my fair share of tough love. I can now see that this is somewhat of a genetic defect that the whole family can enjoy. (Enjoy is such a strong word.)

As I sat with an ice pack over my left eye last night (I'll tell you about that tomorrow), I thought of my sister Mary. She was the sister who was in trouble the most, or maybe I should say she was the one who caused the most trouble.

At the busy age of 4, her favorite room in the house was the bathroom. One day, she placed her little hand tightly over the faucet and then turned the water on, spraying the entire bathroom. When Dad caught her in the act of her good time, he tried to stop her. He told her she was making a mess.

She giggled.

He said, "Stop."

She giggled some more.

He started to reach for her, trying not to get all wet. He fell over nearly landing on his head, he slipped again trying to get up. She gave him one quick squirt of water to the face while he was down.

She ran, still giggling.

The chase was on. Mary was in the lead by a determined 4-year-old stretch. Dad was coming around the corner, and was a grownup foot behind. She ran into the kitchen safely into the arms of Mom.

Dad, was not so lucky. When he screeched around the corner, he ran into the refrigerator, toes first. His little toe separated from the others as it got caught up on the tiny foot under the fridge. With Mary still giggling safely in our mother's arms, Dad bounced around doing a pain dance while holding his broken toe.

Mary wasn't completely spared. She grew up to have three children of her own, who are bringing tough love to a whole new level. I can only imagine what our grandkids will be like.