Aren’t families wonderful? Truly, they are the source of some of our greatest joys in life. They’re also the source of many of life’s lessons. Children teach us more about love, patience, sacrifice, stamina, and good old fashioned fortitude than we could ever learn in a classroom or textbook. Still, all the work and tears and sleep deprivation are worth it when your children grow up to be spectacular young adults (like mine). There’s an added bonus when these same children get put through the same sorts of trials that they put their poor, tired parents through. Tee Hee. It’s payback time for Carrie.

Carrie’s sweet Emma is quite a little minx. She’s adorable, funny, dramatic, and affectionate. A smile and hug from her can dispel all irritation and annoyance.  In a recent blog post, Carrie admitted that sometimes Emma could drive her absolutely NUTS with her whining and screaming, and she wondered where in the world this behavior could have come from. Must be Rich’s family, right? That’s when Carrie found a old letter that I had written to my mother 32 years ago. Ah, the lost art of letter writing. That’s a topic for another day.

I read this and laughed…and then laughed some more.

“Carrie got cards from Mrs. C. and her great grandmother Clyburn. She excitedly ripped them apart. In fact, she bathed with MaMa’s yesterday morning, and it came apart in a million pieces.

If I didn’t know better, I’d almost believe Carrie just dreams up things to torment me. She’s gone bananas in the past few days. It’s almost like she’s saying, “I’m 18 months old now, and you’d better take notice because I’m my own person.” She slaps and pulls hair, and when you tell her to stop, she goes into a tizzy. She screams and gets rigid all over. It’s a temper tantrum, I guess. She’ll come up to me with a book, and if I don’t stop what I’m doing immediately, she goes berserk. We took her out for walks Saturday and Sunday, and she got so mad when we tried to get her to stay with us…. Oh yes, and now she has to have her dolls wrapped in blankets.

Well, Saturday night Carrie was awake until after 3:00. Last night she tried the same trick of waking up and screaming. We let her scream, and it was simply awful, but it worked. I really had to wrestle with myself not to go in there. What she wants is for me to sleep on the floor beside her bed….”

Folks, I’m ashamed to admit that there were nights when I actually did sleep on the floor just to grab a few hours of rest.

Anyway, Carrie turned out to be a remarkable young woman with talents galore. She’s still strong willed, stubborn, and determined (some of the same words she uses to describe Emma), but is that necessarily a bad thing? Love ya, Sweetie!