King's Business - 1968-03


E A R T A B B Y . . . I was just putting the flour into the meat juice to make gravy when our cat, Tabby, decided to give birth to her first baby right beside my left foot. The children, then ages 5 and 7, stood star­ ing unbelievingly at Tabby. Then Rick dropped to his knees and prayed, “ Oh, dear Lord, help Tabby with her babies” and Laurie added, “ Oh, dear Lord, help her to be a good mommy.” I prayed, “ Oh dear, Lord!” Tabby, as it turned out, gave us quite an education as well as four dear little yellow kittens who looked just like her. However, I burned the gravy that night and the rest of the dinner wasn’t much better. I settled Tabby in a box deep inside a dark hall closet with instructions to the children not to disturb the new mamma. Later that night when I thought Laurie was in bed, I glimpsed her in the hall closet! She was holding one o f the new kittens and was licking it all over with her tongue. Right then I wanted to turn in my “ Happy Moth­ er’s Day” badge. “ What are you do­ ing?” I screamed. She calmly answered, “ Tabby didn’t clean this one up too well so I’m helping her.” One of the first things we noticed about dear, tame Tabby was that she became half Bengal tiger whenever her babies’ security was threatened. Her helpless little kittens were her charge and with fierce, loving devotion, she challenged anyone who might disturb her charges. Her babies might not have known anything about life and the big, bad world, but they did know Mother cared, and would die if necessary to defend them. I wonder if we ever, as mothers, tell our children by a thousand different methods, that we really care. Our teen­ agers would be so different if we had, from the moment of their birth, dis­ played this kind o f fierce loyalty to them. What security Tabby’s babies had! No need to suck their thumbs or carry their blankets — just give them old Tiger Mom! They knew she cared and they knew she was proud o f them. So much of our time is dedicated to criticizing our young (in order to shape them) we very often are short on the praise. When I complimented Dr. Bob Smith on his lovely teen-age daughter, Liz, he said, “ Her mother and I de­ cided when she was bom we would never let a day go by without telling her what a joy she is to our hearts.” I realized I hadn’t missed a day in tell­ ing Laurie and Rick to brush after every meal, but I had let many days go by without expressing my fierce love and pride o f them — a situation which I’ve been correcting ever since. I’m not sure why dear Tabby knew, but she did know that her babies needed to be aware of her love and she spent a con­ siderable amount of her time telling them! As the kittens grew, we began to see the training and discipline side o f dear Tabby, which turned out to be as fierce as the proud and loving attributes. She taught them how to play, and once

Coffee they got the hang o f it, they really tore up the place — and dear Tabby; up one side o f her, down the other, one hitting her ear, one pulling her tail, and one pouncing on her tummy. Aside from a slight switch of her tail now and then, she was as quiet as a statue . . . until she signaled that play time was over. Then, oh, then, if someone had missed the signal, she was very quick with a fast right and all you could see was a little puff o f yellow fur flying. When the fluff stopped flying, there was little doubt left as to what Mamma wanted and Mamma got it! In a national survey, taken by a lead­ ing women’s magazine, it was stated that 95 per cent o f the mothers with adolescent or teen-age children a re afraid of their children. Mostly they are afraid of what their children think of them or that they won’t be able to be “ friends” with them. As a mother, there are definitely times when I’m the children’s friend — times when we play Mille Bomes, Aggravation, Twistem and sail a boat together or cook to­ gether or shop together and these occa­ sions are very precious. There are other times however, when I’m not necessarily their friend. I’m a mother advising Laurie that the hemline o f her dress is not in good taste or telling Rick he must be home at my time, not his, or I’m setting family rules so all o f us can live, mature, and be the people God wants us to be. So sometimes I’m not too popular around here. It's then I re­ member dear Tabby, who by a God- given instinct, was quite a mother. She balanced patience, all-suffering love (as her children romped and stomped all over her) with the firm paw o f disci­ pline. What amazed us the most was that after she cuffed a little one right off his feet, she was the first to get him upright and it seemed as if he sobbed, “ I’m sorry, Mamma.” She checked him all over for broken bones, kissed him from the tip o f his nose to his tail and purred, “ It’ s all right, little one; you’re learning.” Our children need desperately to know we love them and to know that we mean what we say. If we are to love them, then let’s love them now while they are gangly, immature, part baby, and part adult. If we are going to set rules, let’s set sensible common sense rules and then stick by them. When you say “ bed at 9:00 p.m.” do you mean you won’t get really mad until it’s 9:20 or

by Joyce Londorf

do you really mean 9:00? (It may mean starting at 8:30!) I f we are combining our love and training with a daily reliance on God’s wisdom, we need not fear our children, but love them and stand fast. It’s a twenty-year plan, this rearing of chil­ dren, and I’ve decided if I make it through, only the first twenty years will be the hardest. Dear Tabby, thank you for the les­ sons you’ve given us all! OVERNIGHT MACAROONS from I HATE TO COOK BOOK by Pe$ Bracken (These are m ighty speedy cookies, if you remember to mix the oil and oatmeal and sugar together the night before. They have a chewy texture and an almond- macaroon taste.) The night before, 'm ix together: 4 cups quick-cooking oatmeal 2 cups brown sugar 1 cup salad oil Next morning, mix in: Drop them from a teaspoon onto a greasea baking sheet, bake at 325° for 15 minutes, and remove them promptly when they're done. One of the new, but very practical and enjoyable handbooks to be printed in some time is the one, HOW TO BE A CHRISTIAN WITHOUT BEING RELIGIOUS, edited by Fritz Ridenour, published in paperback by Regal Books division of Gospel Light Publications, Glendale, California. This delightful, easy-to-read book is based on Romans as found in Ken Tay­ lor’s LIVING LETTERS and is illus­ trated by Joyce Thimsen in captivating cartoons. Since one o f the things we seem to hide as a Christian is our sense of humor, it is good to see, identify, and laugh at the thought-provoking car­ toons. Quite often I felt as Miss Thim­ sen had used me as a model and had been peeking over my shoulder as I live my Christian life. "H A S GOD PASSED ME BY . . . t " We were sitting in our living room before a cheerful hearth fire, listening to the low March wind as it beat against the side of our house. My pretty seventeen-year-old friend looked pen­ sive as she watched the mounting flames hug the massive logs. She had asked to come. On the phone she said, “ I need to talk.” A need, however, does not al­ ways guarantee the quick uncovering of hidden bewilderment, so I waited for 2 beaten eggs 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon almond extract



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