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  • ivanildotrindade 1:24 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: absent grandparents, book of lamentation, , Grandparent, , Holiday, Home, lament, lamentation, losing grandparents, nostalgia, parenting, ,   

    My Book of Lamentation 

    It’s amazing how much you learn about your surroundings just by sitting at Starbucks and listening to people talk. Now I know this is dangerous business because you can be accused of eavesdropping or worse yet you may hear threads of conversations and build a whole narrative around them. Or you may think you heard something when in reality the people were talking about something also.

    I noticed today an elderly couple who walked into the store. The woman looked frail, she carried a cane and had a distant look in her eyes which I have seen in people who are about to depart. I also noticed how one of the employees was so deferential to that couple and immediately told them to grab a table “before it was gone” — Starbucks was rather crowded this morning. He got their drinks ready and then, as the lady came to get her freshly brewed coffee, I heard him refer to her as “grandma.”

    A few minutes went by and before I knew it the employee took a break, sat at the table with the couple, and began to talk. He told them about a train trip — which was not as comfortable as going by plan but it was good; he even said they had Internet on the train! They talked about the advantages of having or not having a car — this guy rides the bus to and from work, which is how I started talking to him the first time I met him at the store, as he was waiting for a co-worker to get off so he could get a ride home. The last bus had already come and gone. They talked about budgeting and the demands of Holiday spending. They talked about an optimum time for him to go see his mom. Then the couple inquired about his day off — tomorrow, and they made plans to pick him up for lunch. 11:30.

    You know what I mean about being accused of eavesdropping now? Please, believe me when I say that I was sitting across the room from them and the words were floating in the common air space where decoding is free. I heard all of that while quietly removing dead cuticle from my nails in my corner of the store, and I was not taking notes!

    But that scene made me nostalgic. I realized I was witnessing something unique. And I realized I was indirectly living something I was never privileged to do in my life. You see, from the time I was seven, my siblings and I moved to a different state, and from that time on, we were never in the presence of our grandparents on both sides of the family for more than just a few precious minutes. Actually, I don’t even remember my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family, and I had oh so little interaction with the ones on my mom’s side.

    And today I lament that. Yes, lamentation is the right word for it. I don’t use that word lightly. My rules for lamentation are plain and simple: 1. You are only allowed to lament over stuff that has already happened — no “lamenting forward” in my book, for life is too precious to have it ruined by the possibility that something might not turn out the way I want it. 2. You are only allowed to lament over stuff you had no control over. If you see the “check engine” light go on and you still decide to make that 500-mile one way spring break trip and the engine blows up circa 299 miles, don’t come to me lamenting your bad luck. 3. You are only allowed to lament over stuff that cannot be fixed.

    My grandparents are all dead and gone now. I cannot fix that. My wife and I also moved, not to a different state, but to a different Continent, when our children were small. I cannot fix that. But perhaps I can do something about not moving away from my grandchildren — if and when I get my own. I can do something about my children being the last generation in the Trindade line that will have to lament the loss of the grandparents’ presence.

    Starbucks awaits.

    A footnote: I just spoke to “Joseph” (the name I am ascribing to the employee aforementioned) and he told me that indeed they were his grandparents, that they are well into their 80’s and that his grandmother had a devastating stroke last year but she is doing much better today. I told him, “You are honored to have them in your life.” He said, “Thank you for telling me that.”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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    • Bob & Linda 4:05 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      My Dear Brother in Christ Our Lord,
      You are so “spot on” with this post. I was blessed to be able to be in close proximity to all of my Grandparents. That was good. They were unique in their own rights. They have all passed away but I have no regrets. In my time I believe this was more normal than not. That certainly isn’t the case today. We are all over the place. I heard a man this week with tears in his eyes talk about only seeing his two grand daughters but twice in their life since they live in different states. So sad but so true.
      Keep looking up, “perhaps today!”
      Bob & Linda

      • ivanildotrindade 1:03 pm on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        thanks for your comment, bob. yes, indeed, u were blessed to have your grandparents in your life. i feel sad for that man who connected so little to his grand daughters. that is even worse than my case, I think.

    • Ted Beaver 9:20 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you pastor, this gave me something to think about!

      • ivanildotrindade 1:05 pm on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        that’s my purpose, ted — help u think, but not too hard. i hope somehow this will help you in your journey. we can all learn from each other’s experiences. thanks for posting a reply!

    • Mary Barr 9:45 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll give this a great big “LIKE”… I was SO blessed by grandparents that filled in for absent parents!

    • lionjudah 10:12 pm on January 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I doubt if we can live without lamenting about something. May I comment on this blog: The discussion reminds me of a conversation I had, maybe 40-years ago with a gentlemen. It was, “Are we stealing when we pickup a newspaper and read the news and do not purchase the paper?”

      He said, “The papers print for market profit, information that they received free!” As I think about it, wouldn’t this be the same as eaves dropping?

      Nevertheless, I am always amazed that important men and women meet in restaurants or public meeting places/hotel lobbies and discuss private stuff–they get so involved in conversation that they become oblivious to the persons around them who can easily eaves drop! I confess that I love to oblige whenever I can.

      A short time in my life I slept in a second bed in my parents room. I loved to pretend I was sleeping so I could then listen as they talked. Was that eaves dropping? How often we will be talking in a public place and suddently the person we are speaking with, suddenly cocks his ear to hear another conversation?

      When a high school senior we took the usual trip to the nation’s capitol. (1954) A guide led us in the hugh capitol rotundra and demonstrated how someone in the periforary could hear discussions from the center. In this way he explained a civil war plan from one side was easily understood by the other side.

      One can sometimes learn important news as well as lessons from eaves dropping. Your reflections, Pastor Ivanildo clearly point that out. Well done.

      Lamentation serves us well–it is like holding the “stuff” of life in tention. When I wrote my autobiography: RESOLVED TO FINISH STRONG,” I often wept while I wrote and relived scenes from my life. I lament that had I had a mentor to walk with me I believe could have avoided some pitfalls and have “Strengthened My Grip,” as Chuck Swindoll wrote.

      I was lamenting and musing this to a close friend, Dr. Arthur G. Mcphee, professor of missiology and he gave me this quote BY jAMES bARRIE:

      “THE LIFE OF A MAN IS A DIARY IN WHICH HE MEANS TO WRITE ONE STORY
      AND WRITES ANOTHER: AND HIS HUMBLEST HOUR IS WHEN HE COMPARES
      THE VOLUME AS IT IS WITH WHAT HE VOWED TO MAKE IT.”

      • ivanildotrindade 1:10 pm on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, harold. i think i have written here about the ethics of taking discarded newspapers at starbucks, but that is a different situation from what your friend was talking about 40 years ago. i am not even going to try to think of the logic behind his line of thinking. wouldn’t this apply to a whole lot of other things — like library books, for example? and your james barrie quote? sounds to me like the problem could be solved if he simple had a good publicist and a merciless editor — that will take care of writing a book that is longer than your original plan. 🙂

    • lionjudah 4:53 am on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Your excellent eaves dropping reflections has jogged my memory of eaves dropping, too! I remember discussing the subject of “Is it stealing if you pick up a newspaper and read it without purchasing the paper? His rationale was this: “NO. He argued that newspapers actually are printing information that costs them nothing plus they are selling it for profit. I love to oblige “eaves dropping” when folks discuss private info in public whenever I can. Great article!
      The lionjudah.

  • ivanildotrindade 12:23 am on July 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dr. spock, ed young, , , kid ceo, parenting, parents and children, permissive parenting   

    Learning from Children — Part 3 

    This is the third and final post in a series of three, from a message I preached earlier this week. This message can now be listened to in its entirety here, if you prefer the audio version. Hope you enjoy and are challenged by it.

    There is a third and final lesson we must learn through God’s precious children and that is…

    C. The Lesson of Generosity

    which is found in Matthew 7:7-11:

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11).

    Now, granted, this text teaches us more about the nature of our God than the nature of our parents. Our God is not a cosmic-kill-joy-mean-old-tyrant who sits in heaven ready to zap any joy out of our meager existence. No! God is generous and kind; He is always eager to bless and ready to forgive those who come to Him with a humble heart. This is the Christian God I know.

    But it is also clear that Jesus is saying here that it is okay for us to be generous with our children. In fact, our natural tendency as parents is to give the best we can to our children. In other words, it is within our nature to be generous, to provide, and to look after the affairs of our children.

    Try as I may, I cannot understand the minds of those who bring children into the world only to abuse and neglect them. That’s one thing that makes me angry. In fact, not too long ago I was hanging out with some children in a depressed area of our town where we have a ministry called “Sowing Hope,” and a guy called me aside and introduced himself. He said, “Hey, my name is Greg. Do you know what I do here?” I said, “No Greg, but it’s nice to meet you.” One of his kids was hovering nearby, so he waved him off, looked straight into my face, and said, without hesitation, “I sell dope here.”

    I was sitting at a picnic table, and the moment I heard him say that, I rose to my feet. I put my index finger right in front of his face and said, “Greg. You stand against everything we do here in this complex. If you ever come anywhere near one of our children, I am taking you down.” Then I sat down before my legs gave way from shaking… Greg is about 6’ 2’’ and he weighs about 250 pounds. By the way, five months later, by God’s grace, I baptized Greg and his wife Christy at our church, but that is another story.

    The point here is that we should be outraged by injustices in this world, and especially injustices against God’s precious children. This type of outrage led me, with the help of friends, to start a ministry to rescue children in SE Asia called G.R.O.W. Since 2009, we have rescued 9 children in Chiang Mai, Thailand, who are now kept safe from the evil claws of those who harmed them through sexual and physical abuse. These children are now happily thriving in the G.R.O.W. home and, more importantly, they have met the Lord who is the reason for their hope of heaven.

    The Bible says that God is the one who gives us “good and perfect gifts,” and He expects us to do the same to our children. I don’t know how it is in your family, but I know that my wife and I have always been willing to sacrifice so our children would have a place in the sun. By the grace of God, they have been blessed and we are very proud of them and what they are doing with their lives.

    Sometimes, generosity to our children means making an effort to be a part of their lives, even if it costs you something. When my girls were in school, they were very active in sports. To stay involved, I coached their Junior High Volleyball teams. I have so many memories of those years but none as vivid as the time my oldest daughter Carolina’s team was playing a critical game in a decisive tournament. We had fallen behind in the last set and I called a time out to set up a play. There was so much tension in the air in that small gym as we huddled together and I was explaining the play. Suddenly, I hear Carolina say, “Dad?” I said, “What, Carolina?” She responded loud enough that the parents on the bleachers behind could hear: “You have bad breath!” At that point everybody was laughing, including myself, so I just sent them back to the court, while someone “parachuted” a whole pack of gum down the bleachers for me… From that day on I learned to always keep a pack within reach…

    But generosity to our children does not mean that they get a blank check. I just saw a portion of an interview with Mark Wahlberg, who, by the way, is starring in a movie that has a kid-friendly name and a cute bear but don’t be fooled by it. To my disbelief, I heard him say, “Now, when it comes to our kids we make an exception – we give them whatever they want.” Now, I am hoping he is exaggerating or at least that his wife has better judgment than him, for that is a recipe for disaster.

    The Bible tells us the story of one of King David’s sons, a guy by the name of Adonijah. When David was old and there was some question about who was going to succeed him on the throne, Adonijah rose one morning and declared: “I will be king.” The story is found in 1 Kings 1. In verse 5 it says that…

    “… he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.” (1 Kings 1:5).

    Now, the author of 1 Kings, at this point, pauses to make a little editorial comment. The comment gives us a critical insight into the reason Adonijah was emboldened to try to take the Kingdom. It turns out that the mighty King David, the fierce King of Israel, the same one who killed the lion and the bear and routed many enemy armies in war, was fierce to everyone else except his own children. Sadly, the author says in verse 6:

    “His father had never interfered with him by asking, ‘Why do you behave as you do?’” (1 Kings 1:6).

    This comment should serve as a warning to all well-meaning parents out there who have decided to ignore conventional wisdom (and Biblical teaching) in favor of more permissive parental guidance from the pens of people like Dr. Spock, among many others.

    This is a textbook example of how to raise a rebel: give whatever he wants and never ask why he behaves the way he does. Adonijah reasoned: my father has never denied me anything; now that he is old, I doubt that he will care if I take the kingdom. But he forgot one little detail – a feisty little woman named Bathsheba. You can read for yourself how the story ends, but I guarantee you – it does not turn out well for Adonijah.

    And it never ends well to anybody raised that way. Generosity does not give us a license to indulge and the line of demarcation between a gift and a bribe sometimes is very thin, though the desired results couldn’t be more different – after all, a gift evokes gratitude, a bribe breeds a tyrant.

    Pastor Ed Young has written about this in a Book titled Kid CEO: How To Keep Your Children from Running Your Life, which I highly recommend. He says that there is a power struggle in most of our homes – a crisis of leadership, he calls it, with parents leaving the decision-making to kids barely out of diapers, if that. At one point in the book, he says,

    In fact, what is happening is a role reversal. In other words, kids are running the asylum. They are leading, and the parents are following. As a result, the home has become a lopsided landslide of mayhem – it has become kid driven rather than parent driven.”  

    How about your home? Is it a “lopsided landslide of mayhem”? If so, perhaps it is time for you to take over the reins again. And you might need to start at the basics, like taking charge of the game console or the cell phone. This might be the hardest thing you will need to do, but is worth it. Listen, folks, there is no consolation prize for those who console themselves with the game console and if the cell phone is your shepherd, you SHALL want.

    I remember when our kids were small and they wanted to continue watching T.V. beyond their bed time. After trying to convince them to turn the T.V. off on their own, I would just to grab the remote and tell them, “Watch me, I’m the most powerful man in America,” Click. And, believe me; I felt every bit as powerful as I saw the flickering lights of the tube disappearing in front of our eyes.

    I know this sounds mean but it really isn’t. I did it because I was absolutely certain that it was the best thing for my kids, even if they didn’t know it.  We don’t want someone to say of our kids what Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, said about American families in the 1800’s. After one of his visits to America, he is reported to have said:

    “The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.” (Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor).

    Now please, I beg you, don’t just go home and take everything away from your children. If you are not in the habit of doing this, take your time, talk to them, establish your rules, and stick to them.

    In sum, then, the third lesson we learn from God’s precious children is this…

    be generous but don’t forget to lead.

     Conclusion

    I want to end by saying that there are many more lessons God wants to teach us through the precious children He has entrusted to us. I only had time to share three with you today, but here is a final thought. Some of these lessons come like comic relief; others have the force of a 2 X 4.

    When my daughter, Carissa, was 5, she taught me the greatest lesson I ever learned about the tension between ministry and family. At the end of every service people always wanted to shake hands and chat with the pastor. This sometimes would go on and on while my wife and two small girls would wait. This time Carissa decided enough was enough. She tried to get my attention by tugging at my coat and saying, “Dad!” I was so distracted, I didn’t notice. She probably tried again, I don’t know. All I know is that suddenly I heard that sweet little voice behind me saying, “Pastor Ivanildo!” I immediately turned and to my shock I saw my daughter there.

    Ouch! She had figured out how to get my attention!!! I felt ashamed, humiliated, a thief of my family’s time. I went home in silence but I have kept that reminder close to my heart ever since and through all my highs and lows in life and ministry I keep this thought in front of me: God desires for us to serve Him with all of our hearts but not at the expense of our families. He wants us to love our children to Jesus, to be humble like they are, and to go out of our way to be judicially generous in all of our dealings with them. But above all, He wants us to teach them to be imitators of God all their lives as we learn from this verse in Ephesians:

    “Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children” (Ephesians 5:1).

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Beth 8:51 am on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      great message. I remember hearing a pastor who had been in the ministry for 30 years preaching about this. He had a traveling evangelist ministry and the Lord did many miracles through him, but his family waited for him at home. He was gone a lot. I don’t know if he regretted being gone so much, but he felt bad that he did not honor them when they needed him the most.

      • ivanildotrindade 8:55 am on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        that’s sad, beth. something we all have to keep in front of us always, but i think especially ministers of the gospel — so many people have claims on their time and schedule!

  • ivanildotrindade 9:53 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adults, , , , , parenting   

    Learning From Children — Part 1 

    Dear readers:

    I have been so busy I barely have had time to eat! I returned from Asia only last week and had to quickly adjust to time and work back in Wooster. Now I am getting ready to lead a team to the Amazon in Brazil. We leave in nine days. Yesterday, I was the guest speaker at another church and I wanted to share the message I shared with that congregation. they gave me the topic — parenting and family. I chose to speak on the lessons God teaches us through children. I share it with you so you can feel a little bit of my heart. It will be a three-part series. Hope you enjoy it. 

    I once read a story about Dwight Moody coming back from one of his evangelistic campaigns and telling his wife that he had two and a half converts that evening. She asked him, “How old was the child?” He said, “Oh no, it was two children and one adult.”

    This story reminds me that so often we get things reversed when it comes to children. While we recognize that children need guidance and direction and are prone to get into mischief, it is also true that there are times when God wants us to follow the children’s way and not the other way around. Jesus was a master at using children to teach adults valuable insights and today I want to look at

    three lessons He taught us through God’s precious children and they are all found in the Gospel of Matthew.

    The first lesson we want to look at is

    A. The Lesson of Friendship

    We find that in Matthew 19:13-14. If you have a copy of Scriptures, I ask you to open it there, if not, I have the words for you on the screen:

    “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” (Matthew 19:13-14).

    Let’s face it; children can be a handful sometimes.

    My youngest daughter, Carissa, when she was a baby, she was always into everything. Her hands were like little weapons of mass destruction. She could be smiling at you while her hands were doing havoc behind her back. When she was a toddler, she was a handful at church, never sitting still, never listening to anyone. More than once I had to take her outside and read the Miranda rights to her.

    One time I was speaking and she was being particularly difficult. I apologized to my people and said, “I gotta take my daughter outside and have a little talk with her.” I grabbed her; put her on my arms, and started marching out of the building. She was facing the opposite way, toward the people, and just before we left the building, she yelled: “Pray for me!” The whole place erupted in laughter. I mean, after that, what can you possibly do?

    I realize that keeping kids under control can be an impossible task at times. I just returned from SE Asia and while there I interviewed a couple for a job. They have an eighteen month old baby who was crying the whole time we talked. Needless to say, the interview didn’t go very well.

    Sometimes kids can be more than a distraction. They can be absolutely taxing and overwhelming.

    This week my heart skipped a beat as I read the words of a young woman who posted online how much she hates being a mom. Here are some of her words:

    “I hate being a mother… My kids are of toddler and preschool age. They fight, scream and demand all the time… I am so unhappy… I never have a moment to just relax… Yes I love my kids but I hate mothering them… I fantasize about running away from it all. It’s too much!!! If I had to do it all over, I wouldn’t have any children. I hate being a mother.”

    If kids are perceived this way today, imagine back in Jesus’ day when children were considered to be more baggage and weight than an asset. The disciples were just displaying their cultural bias when they tried to stop people from bringing their children to Jesus. I can almost hear their words, “Look, the Lord is busy. Don’t you see all the people around him? He has more important things to do than to hold your sweaty little brats.”

    Jesus, the master contrarian, would have none of that. When he saw what the disciples were doing, he rebuked them. In fact, Mark adds an insightful comment that makes it unmistakably clear how Jesus felt about this issue. He says that the Lord became “indignant.” The word used there is very strong and it is the only time in the New Testament where it is used in reference to Jesus. Mark was not afraid to reveal Jesus’ true feelings on the matter. Today we would say that Jesus was “incensed” or “angry.”

    I can picture Jesus catching the commotion from the corner of his eyes as the disciples were trying to stop moms and dads from bringing their children to be blessed by Him. I can hear Him saying, “Guys, what are you doing? Stop that nonsense. Don’t mess with my precious children. It’s people like them that will keep me company in heaven.” And then he proceeded to take children on His lap and bless them… and all the other business was tabled! Don’t you love that?

    Jesus’ example shows us that He is a friend of children par excellence. And He wants us to go out of our way to love children, make them feel welcome, and never do anything that would block the path that leads children to Him.

    I am always amazed when I go to Latin America or Asia to see people lowering themselves when they speak to a child. From the child’s perspective, it makes perfect sense because all they can see, when adults talk to them, is some hairy legs or stockings, if they are lucky. I don’t know about you but I find it a little hard to have a conversation with a leg…

    Jesus, in a way, was teaching us to come down to the level of the children, to have the worm’s eye view, so to speak, and not the bird’s eye view. By strongly contradicting the disciples and interrupting everything to bless the children, Jesus was showing us the supreme value of children in God’s eye, and if we want to honor God we have to see children the same way.

    At the church where I serve every year we have a Sunday when we celebrate children in a special way. I remember a couple of years ago when our senior pastor preached a passionate sermon about letting the children come to Jesus. One of the things he said was that we needed to make our church a lot more kid-friendly. At some point he got excited and he said we shouldn’t give kids a hard time when they giggle and run through the hallways. He said, “Let the children run!” A few minutes after the service was over I saw a friend of mine, who is also an usher, telling a group of kids to stop running around. I said, only half-jokingly, “Didn’t you hear what the man said? ‘Let the children run!’”

    The point is that many grown-ups have this default mode to always keep children on a short leash. But there are times when we just need to let children be children. We need to give them room, within reason, to mess things up for that’s what children do best.

    We also need to make sure that we create an environment, whether at home or in church, that is positive, fun and encouraging for children. Make no mistake about it: children are surrounded by negativity every day. When my kids were small, I used to pray this prayer for them: “God, please surround my kids today with positive people; people who will build them up and not tear them down; people who will point them to God and not to the world; people who will bring the best and not the worst in them.”

    Speaking of prayer, ever since my children were born, I have prayed what I call the 3 P’s for them. 1. The first “P” is for protection (from the world, from the enemy of their souls and from themselves); 2. The second “P” is for purpose (I want my children to totally immerse themselves in the purpose of God for their lives. I don’t want them to rest until they find that purpose. And though I don’t want them to be miserable, until they find that purpose, I want them to be restless); 3. The third “P” is for a partner (think about this: there is a good chance that your children’s future partners are already living somewhere, people are shaping their lives, and decisions that will change them forever are being made). If you are not in the habit of praying the 3 P’s for your children, you should start that today.

    So, to recap, the first lesson God wants us to learn through His precious children is that we need to treat children as Jesus’ friends, not a burden.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 5:14 pm on September 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: life lessons, parenting, what we learn from our children   

    The day my breath killed a timeout 

    Several of my friends are posting on Facebook the changes they have been going through since their children left for college. To help them cope, today I start reflecting on some of the things I have learned from my children.

    When my daughter, Carolina, was in 8th grade (she is in her mid 20’s now), I coached her in both basketball and volleyball. Don’t ask me how I ended up coaching basketball. The school must have been desperate. Shhh… I checked all the books out that had anything to do with basketball from the public library and to this day I still don’t know what pick and roll is!

    Anyway, in one of our games, a critical game for our team, I called a time out and was explaining a play. We were in the huddle and the climate was intense. All eyes were on me, the coach. Suddenly, Carolina looked at me and said, loudly: “Dad!” I stopped what I was doing and said, “What?” And she finished, “You have bad breath!” End of time out. Everybody was laughing… I mean everybody, including the parents sitting behind us in the gym. I just motioned them to get back into the court and turned to the audience, sheepishly: “Does anybody have any gum?”

    That day I learned that we are never “off” being parents to our children and they are never “off” being our children. They can interrupt a lecture, abruptly end a meeting or reveal to the world that you need some help with your dental hygiene.

    Some people bring little ones into the world and think that after the labor, they can go back to the old life they used to have. Nothing could be further from the truth. Parenthood is forever and even though we definitely want our children to become independent, there is a sense in which they never leave you. And I for one am glad for that.

    And since that day a piece of gum is never too far away. Thanks, Carolina!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
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