Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Re-lent-less


From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: re·lent·less

Function: adjective

Date: circa 1592

: showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace : unrelenting


Funny thing about having kids. You think you will spend their formative years teaching them what they need to know to become responsible, God-honoring adults, and you do, but if you're paying attention, they teach you as much as you teach them -- especially about yourself. Before I had kids, I was one of those obnoxious people without kids who considered herself a bit of an expert on how not to raise a child. I would watch with disdain when a child had a meltdown at the grocery store. "That child needs discipline!", or "The reason that child pulls that crap is because he is allowed to get away with it."

Parenting is nothing if not humbling. If words had a caloric value, I would be a pretty sizable woman by now. I've eaten my share of them. What I failed to realize before I had children of my own is they are not little robots to be programmed by their well meaning parents. They have their own set of characteristics --either nature or nurture --that makes each child unique; each person unique. And while the physical characteristics my husband and I passed down to our children are glaringly obvious, it has taken a few years to fully grasp some of the less tangible characteristics. You know, the ones where you turn to your spouse and say, "He/she got that from you!"

But here's something I'm finally figuring out after all this time. I'm a fairly laid back person. (No, really -- I am). But when I set my mind to something, I am not easily dissuaded from seeing it through. Call it stubbornness if you will. That's how I read it when this trait reared its ugly head in BOTH my children. I'm telling you, THEY WILL WEAR YOU DOWN if they want something. Not necessarily by whining (Praise Jesus they are past that stage for now), but by pleading and negotiation in any and all forms. I have to smile because I was exactly like that as a child. My mom's favorite line was, "Just give it to her. She's never going to shut up until you do." Annoying? Yes. Did I get my share of poundings from my sisters and brother? Definitely. But you know what? They didn't beat one of my defining qualities out of me.

Relentlessness.

17 comments:

Bridget said...

If words had caloric value to them...love it! I too have eaten more than my fair share thinking I knew the "answers" on how to raise my children (not done yet)...boy was I wrong! :)

Chris Sullivan said...

I'll keep that in mind if I ever need an agent. Now can we get you a ecent commenting system on here because I'm not going to check back to see if you replied to me or not but it would be lovely if intensedebate or disqus sent me a little email saying you responded and then I could respond. It is good for business. And yes I'm probably going to add this onto every comment I make on your blog until it happens. I'm relentless! ( I'll probably move to the DR and forget. Oh well)

katdish said...

I have the same problem with wordpress blogs. I rarely get follow up comments. But I'm going uptown. I'm having my designer friend custom pimp my blog very soon. I'll have all that stuff.

Bob said...

You and your daughter are beautiful.
If your daughter grows up to have your perserverence, humor, and loving heart, she will become an awesome woman...

Annie K said...

Holy mackerel, she is a minikatdish and a dang cute kid. At times I can be annoyingly relentless...or maybe determined is a better word.

sherri said...

With a face like that, I'd be giving her what she wanted the first time- she wouldn't even need to be relentless! She is adorable!

Candace Jean July 16 said...

What a sweetheart! Your daughter, silly, not you. But proof the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Billy Coffey said...

A sense of relentlessness is necessary to do anything of any value in this life. I learned that early on. If you're quick to give up, you're doomed to failure.

If I can pass along anything to my kids, it's that.

Great post, Katdish!

Beth said...

I love that picture!!!!

My kids are young enough that their personalities are still developing. And already I see qualities good and bad inherited from us...little exciting...little scary. Like right now the baby is not giving up on his escape from the play pen. That would be from Frank. Because I am never ever stubborn.

Nick the Geek said...

hmmm, I wonder if my kids will get that trait from me. I have noticed a great deal of whining but not so much the relentlessness. My oldest can be stubborn and as a baby it could be very bad but I taught her that I'm the boss. She may be hard headed but mine is harder.

Mostly I worry for my wife if the kids inherit my bullishness because she is very unasserting.

Also, yes kids do a lot of teaching if parents pay attention. Yet another reason I love kids.

Helen said...

Last night's comment was NotBob...
Sorry again...
One day when he forgets to sing out, I will have to write embarrassingly mushy stuff in his name...
That'll teach him...

Joanne Sher said...

Oh yes - that was me. Stubborn is another, not-so-kind, word for it. And am I EVER seeing it in my kids. I NEVER judge other people's kids/parenting...anymore!

jasonS said...

Stay relentless in your pursuit of God. Wow, I suddenly felt like I was writing in a yearbook. Oh and stay classy, San Diego.

Great post btw. :)

bman said...

Oh no. My parents are secretly laughing at me because they have an idea of how my kids are going to be... and now I realize... This may be the end, folks!

Peter P said...

Relentless is definitely a word I would associate with you.

I often forget that I'm supposed to be raising my children.

Did I see a hint in the comments there that you're transferring to Wordpress? That would be so awesome!

Liz said...

Relentless is good. :) It is one of my favorite characteristics of God....so why shouldn't we also possess it?
Love it!

The Homefront said...

Thank heaven words don't have caloric value...I tend to eat a bushel a day.

Your daughter is so beautiful...she must take after her lovely mama. And relentlessness is an excellent quality to have. Sometimes just living requires it!