Have Some Grit

I know those of you who have ever been in my Sunday School class have already heard me say this but it's been on my mind again so I'm sharing it on the blog.

Have you ever watched "Old Yeller?"

If you have do you remember the part when Billy went to pick up the dogs and some of the kids in the town start giving him trouble.

One of the adults standing around watching said about Billy,"Theres not another kid with that much grit in this whole town."

You know what that man was really saying?

He was really saying there aren't any parents in this town with enough grit to give their kids grit.

Billy had worked for those dogs.

He had made the trip to get them.

He understood what work was and he understood that money in your hand represented sweat. He knew you traded one for the other.

Billy's parents had taught him the value of money when they taught him the value of work. They taught him to work for what he wanted.

I have a personal story a little tiny bit like that.

In this story I'm the parent without the grit.

When Heidi and Lucas were seven and five years old they had 14 bottle calves they were responsible for.

They were to see that they were cleaned out and fed every morning and night.

Once when it was a bad snowy night Mark came in the back porch door and asked me if the kids had been to the barn yet.

I told him no. I said since it was so bad out I thought he would take care of it.

He said, "No, if they ever need to be taken care of it's on a night like this, get their clothes on them and send them out."

So I did. I hurried around and soon they were ready to go.

Our barn is to the west of the house and there is a light at the top.

It was just like Norman Rockwell picture. I could see the snow swirling in the light from the barn as Mark walked in front, Heidi behind him and Lucas behind her.

I couldn't stand it. My mother heart just had to go with them.

I bundled the baby up and went toward the barn.

You know how the barn is on a cold snowy night. You step inside our of the wind and you smell the feed, the hay and the animals.

Heidi was mixing up milk and fixing the bottles. I can still see her precious face plain as day.

I walked over to the other side of the barn where Mark had  Lucas  bedding the feeder steers.

He was standing there in the middle of all those steers. I didn't say anything at first I just stood and watched him.

Then I said,"Do you like bedding the steers Lucas?"  He never turned to look at me but kept working and said, "Yes,"  then he said "Mommy, do you know what Daddy said?"  and I said, "No" he said,"Daddy said the Bible says it's a good man who takes care of his animals." 

Wow, there he stood all of five years old dressed in his overalls and barn boats bedding the steers getting a lesson on life.

A lesson I had almost ruined, one I had almost denied them because I didn't want them to get cold.

There dad was so right.

The lesson stuck and from that day on they always took care of their animals no matter how deep or dark the night.

I'm so glad they have a dad who had grit when I wanted to over comfort and protect.

If he had not made them go I would have been doing their work for them for years wondering why they weren't responsible and standing around admiring grit in someone elses child.

If you had a dad with grit be glad and stive to be a gritty parent from now on.


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