Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Home Training

As it turns out, one of my daughter's friends, the young man, could not sleep over last night, so my son tidied his room in vain (or maybe his sister's friend needing to sleep there was just an excuse, so I wouldn't think I had actually won our ongoing debate about why he should clean up his room). My daughter's other friend, the young lady, did stay over, and they baked red velvet cupcakes with white sprinkle icing and watched the finale of Glee (love Sue Sylvester! Such a hard ass with a secret soft core).

At around 11:30 p.m. the girls bid us goodnight and I asked, "So are you planning to sleep late tomorrow morning?" They have no school today as teachers are marking their final exams.

"No, not late." my daughter replied. "We set our alarm for 10 a.m."

I just smiled.

When I was growing up, my parents never allowed us to sleep to such an ungodly late hour as 10 a.m. They dug us out of bed by 7 a.m. on Saturdays and holidays. And on Sundays, we had to be up at 5 a.m. to get ready for 6 o'clock service at church. It was painful for me to wake up that early, which could be the reason why as a mother, I never wake my children in the mornings unless they have an appointment to keep (like school). If they have a free day ahead of them, I let them sleep until they wake naturally, as I always wanted to do when I was a child. Given the way the generations flip-flop, I can bet both my kids will eventually be parents whose children are early risers!

Another flip-flop example: My mother had me in the kitchen helping to cook Sunday dinner every week. I can still do those recipes cold, but I seldom choose to. I have never ever asked my daughter to cook a meal. Never. And yet, she loves, loves, loves cooking. I think she watched her dad's enjoyment of it and wanted to share in that.

A third example: My mother made sure I was well schooled in the art of sewing. She taught me many different types of stiches, all the ones she herself had used to embroider the lovely tea cloths and hand towels that decorated our home. But even as I was learning the stitches, I knew they would be utterly useless to my life. Sure enough, when my school uniform hem would come undone, instead of sewing the thing I would simply make the repair with scotch tape. It worked better than you'd think! My daughter, on the other hand, refuses to let her favorite pair of jeans die. She has faithfully darned and stiched and repaired those jeans so many times that the other day, I actually found myself following her example and sewing the torn seam of one of my own garments. I marveled that she actually knew how to sew, because I had never taught her. In fact, I was more likely to show her how to cleverly hide a safety pin in a seam, and how silver duct tape could hold a hem a million times better than scotch tape.

All I have to say is I'm glad my children had some early exposure to their grandmother!


  1. I've never understood sleeping late. I couldn't sleep late even when I was a teenager -- I was always up at 7 a.m. or so. Just my biorhythms, I guess!!

  2. Steve, for me, sleeping late is a delicious luxury, I so seldom get to do it! Actually, it's not really about sleeping late, it's about waking naturally on your own clock, as you do. It's the being forced awake I that I dislike!

    I am a night owl, though. I am often up at 2 and 3 in the morning, so getting up at 6:30 is often hard. But we do what we have to!

  3. when i was in h.s. my mom always seemed to find a need to vacuum around 9 right outside my bedroom door; however, if i was already up and somehow that schedule changed.

    after my teenage years were behind me i've never been one to sleep in.... i've also never been one to need an alarm clock - my brain seems to be easily set to get up when i need to/want to

  4. Kim, very subtle, your mom! She probably helped train your internal clock.