“Ready to Pop!”

“I know quite a few families with delightful teens, but you do have to make sure they are respectful and well-disciplined from the time they are toddlers. And remember that you reap what you sow,” I told her.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Well, what happens when you plant weeds in your garden?”

“Weeds grow.”

“What happens when you plant flowers?”

“Flowers grow.”

“I think it’s the same with our children. They are like gardens,” I explained. “The parent is the gardener. From the time the children are small, we need to make sure they have plenty of light, pure water, and good nutrition for the heart, body, and spirit. But that’s not enough. It’s up to us to protect our little gardens from harm. We need to keep out the weeds, the bugs, the dogs, the rocks, the rabbits, and the stomping feet of folks who just want to take short cuts through the garden or steal the fruit.”

“I think I know what you mean, but just thinking about the video games my son plays and the buddies he hangs out with . . . you just can’t control kids these days. And then with all the junk they pick up at school, I just don’t have the time to deal with all of it. You must be a stay at home mom,” she concluded.

“Yeah, I am. I’ve been really blessed to be able to make that choice and have a supportive husband,” I told her.

“And I must ask: do you homeschool, too?” She had a knowing look now.

“Yeah, and it’s been fun. We’ve also been able to keep a lot of bugs and weeds out of their gardens this way—plus they get a great education with all that one-on-one attention. And classroom walls and textbooks don’t limit us. The whole world is our classroom.”

“I just wouldn’t have the patience!” she said, smiling.

“Oh, the kids have taught me patience! No one comes by patience without having to learn it the hard way,” I confessed.

“What about socialization?” she asked. It’s what everyone asked.

“I just don’t see the good in having my kids socialize with a large group of kids their own age everyday under the care of just one adult. I think they would pick up a lot of bad habits. But when we are at home, and together in the ‘real world,’ they get to know people of many ages and from many walks of life. They are best friends with each other, and it helps when your child’s best friend is being taught the same morals. That makes everything easier.”

“I guess you’re right. I never thought about it that way. This gives me a lot to think about,” she said. “Well, my ice cream is melting, and ice cream doesn’t wait. I need to get going. It was nice meeting you!”

“Nice meeting you, too. I need to get home to all my babies,” I said.

“Where are they all by the way?”

“At home playing with Daddy.”

“I couldn’t imagine my husband taking care of five kids! Well, good luck with the new baby!”

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