Cody and I sometimes joke that we are parents to an elderly woman in a five year old body.

She hates loud noises.

She hates candy.

She hates merriment in general.

One Year. Hated Cupcakes.

“How dare you present me with such rubbish! Don’t you know who I am?”

She always has to have a blanket on her lap.

Kids drive her crazy.

Loud music? Can’t stand it.

I gave birth to an elderly woman.

Darn you kids and your cheerful gallivanting!

I took her to the playground today where a bunch of high schoolers on spring break were running amok. Bad words, disrespect for each other and the worst, ignorance to the little kids that were there first.

I silently stewed in my brain. Considered calling their parents. Following them home. Videotaping them.

Bah. They were jerks.

And then one almost knocked my kid off a ladder because he was too busy trying to beat the tar out of another kid.

I went crazy lady loud. If I’ve ever experienced Mama Bear emotions it was in that moment.

All twenty teenagers went dead silent and still, staring open mouthed at the shouty lady poised at the side of the playground.

No one apologized, a few of the girls told the boys to watch out for the little kids.

But for the most part they could have cared less.

I think my generation was kind of the end of the whole “respect your elders” group.

I know I can’t control everything.

But I refuse to let Addie grow up to be a jerk.

She will respect herself.

She will respect others.

She will care for those smaller than her, and hold in high regard those bigger than her.

I’m hoping I’m not alone in this. That other parents out there want the same for their kids. That these “old fashioned values” will again become the norm.

That when Addie plays on a playground with her friends in 11 years she won’t be looked at like a dork for making sure the little kids are okay. That she won’t be ashamed to stand up for herself when others around begin using words that no self respecting person, especially a child, would use.

That she will make modesty cool. That she will take pride in her virtue. That others will look to her as an example.

Adelaide means “of exalted nature.”

I hope she exudes that and more.

I know I can’t keep her innocent forever. But oh, how I treasure her innocence now.

I take it as my challenge and my privilege to raise a young lady.

Even if she already acts like an old grumpy one.

Crazy hair.


  1. Hopefully – despite the lack of reaction – one or two of them may have realised that they need to be more careful.

    I intend to raise my girls with respect for others and respect for grown ups. Sometimes it feels like am nagging them more than other parents, but perhaps that is because they easily forget their manners when their peers fail to show any.

    I had a parenting moment like yours in our local post office. A young man – possibly still a teenager, or maybe slightly older – was a few people behind us in the queue. And it was a slow queue. He was huffing and sighing and grumbling aloud.

    Finally he said out loud “oh for F*&$s sake…” and complained about the wait.

    I spun on my heel and in full authorative mode admonished him with “My 5 year does NOT need to hear that kind of vulgar language in a public place, thank you very much.”

    It wasn’t until after it had burst out of me that I though “oh jeez, I hope he doesn’t retaliate!”

    But it’s not acceptable. And I am sure some of the other people in the queue with me were pleased that someone told him off. Not everyone thinks that kind of language has a place in normal conversation.

  2. Wow. I loved this. Can you come talk to my stepson? He’s 15 and although he’s generally very conscientious about those younger than him, he sometimes gets caught up in the disrespectful junk that is so prevalent among teenagers these days. I know I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you for raising your daughter in such an honorable manner!

  3. I’ve read that the current generation (Z) will be all about a return to traditional values. I’m all into that.

  4. My two year old niece speaks to adults, says please and thank you, and shares like whoa. I love that there are other people that are raising responsible adults-to-be, and modest and virtuous, yes! My parents would’ve gotten me good if they heard about us doing anything like those teens, and I think we were better for it.

  5. I simply LOVE this post. LOVE