Gilda Radner was a well-known comedienne who died of cancer a few years ago. Before she died (and while she was sick) she wrote a book called, It’s Always Something. In that book she shared the following story:
When I was little, my nurse Dibby’s cousin had a dog, just a mutt, and the dog was pregnant. I don’t know how long dogs are pregnant, but she was due to have her puppies in about a week. She was out in the yard one day and got in the way of the lawnmower and got her two hind legs cut off. They rushed her to the vet, and he said, “I can sew her up, or you can put her to sleep if you want, but the puppies are okay. She’ll be able to deliver the puppies.
Dibby’s cousin said, “Keep her alive.”
So the vet sewed up her backside, and over the next week the dog learned to walk. She didn’t spend any time worrying, she just learned to walk by taking two steps in the front and flipping her backside, and then taking two steps and flipping her backside again. She gave birth to six little puppies, all in perfect health. And when they learned to walk, they walked like her.
We hear a lot about cultural influences, peer pressure, and the power that schools and curriculums wield over our children, but parents need to realize that they are in a position to outmuscle all of those. When God designed the family, he tilted the playing field severely in favor of moms and dads. The problem is that a lot of parents have forfeited that advantage by failing to fully engage. In my opinion, the greatest curse afflicting the modern home is not the Internet, television, video games, or secular education; it’s the disengaged parent.
I say this not as a criticism of parents. I know it’s hard to keep all the plates spinning in the modern family. My concern is that the kids don’t get the attention they need because other priorities pose a larger immediate threat. The kids are always there. You tell yourself you’ll get around to spending time with them later, but for now that project for work has to get done because the deadline is this week.
I don’t have a lot of answers here. I just think it’s important for you parents to remember that the playing field is tilted in your favor. Others have influence over your children, but no one has as much as you.
On days when you’re feeling tired and hopeless, remember Dibby’s cousin’s two-legged dog.