Recently my daughter-in-law said something to me that made my heart smile.
“Thank you,” she said, “for raising a gentleman.”
In these days of sexual allegations and MeToo revelations, it was a confirmation that my husband and I had done something right. The hours that were spent teaching, guiding, and reinforcing character and common decency with our children had paid off. It was also confirmation that those lessons were recognized.
My memory wandered back over the years to a time when our little three-year-old curly-haired blond-headed son held the door open for a couple entering a restaurant. The lady walked over to tell us what a little gentleman we had.
It happened on more than one occasion and the fact that our little boy did it on his own showed that the lessons of gentility and the Golden Rule had been absorbed by him and, later, his younger sister.
Kindness, understanding, listening, respect, humility, a good work ethic, honor … a way to live life. Those and more were instilled in our now-grown children who are married and have homes of their own.
The words of our son’s wife were a reminder of the foundation we had worked hard to build with our children, and that the hours spent with a child are not wasted.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)