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from Steve Higginbotham

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Like Father Like Son
by Steve Higginbotham
July 30, 2007
While at the office this afternoon, I received a telephone call from my 10 year old son.  He said in a very quiet, solemn voice, "Daddy, I was going to mow the yard and I accidentally poured the gasoline where the oil is supposed to go and now the mower won't start."
Well, my first thought was money.  That mower was nearly $200.00.  So I made sure he understood just how expensive a mistake he had made and I lectured him about being so careless, then I hung up.
After hanging up the phone, I sat and my desk and rehearsed my words in my mind.  They were a little harsh and weren't very understanding.  Then my mind went back to my own childhood.  I recalled an occasion when I poured the wrong type of gasoline in my dad's new Lawnboy lawnmower, ruining it.  How could I be so hard on my son when I had done the same thing?
So I left work and drove home to talk to my son.  He was sitting in the chair with a sullen look, not wanting to make eye-contact.  I said, "Matthew, do you want to know what happened to me when I was about your age?"  He looked up at me and said, "What?"  I said, "I was going to mow the lawn for grandma and granddad and I poured the wrong type of gasoline in granddad's lawnmower and ruined it."  Immediately, a smile broke out across his face.  Nothing more needed to be said, but I added one more comment.  I said, "You know Matthew, you're a lot like your dad." 
Parenting is not an easy proposition, and neither is being a child for that matter.  So maybe if we're patient with each other, we'll both learn from our mistakes and grow.
P.S. - Anyone wanting to get rid of a used lawnmower?
Copyright 2007, South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky
Permission is granted to copy these articles.