Instill values when the opportunity presents itself

Published 7:31 am Wednesday, July 16, 2003

By By Connie Nowlin
Managing editor
Where has the summer gone? I know, it is only mid-July, but the children will be back in school in about three weeks. That means another chance to live the gospel of the ordinary is getting by, those children are another year older and so are we all.
Take a little time now to spend with the young'uns, even if they hate it.
I am dragging my own to a family reunion, so they may be pinched by aunts and meet cousins they never knew they had.
It's one of life's injustices that you do not get to choose your own relatives. It is one of life's joys to find out that some of your relatives are just the ones you would choose if you had the option.
Part of spending time with the kids is to instill in them your values.
Small towns are usually ripe with those opportunities, and Atmore is no exception. Here adults value doing spending time with family and our rural heritage. These are some of the things that children don't want to hear, usually rolling eyes and giving the 'Oh, mmmmooother' sigh.
This is when parents have to keep insisting, even though the teen-agers would rather be drawn and quartered than be caught hanging around with parents, other family members, or listening to their music – a fate worse than death.
Tough. Grab them and take them with you to Fiddles and Viddles Saturday.
It is a chance to have them listen to some music that you can be sure does not advocate anything that parents are afraid of. Not only that, it is a truly American art form, leaning strongly on bluegrass influences. Tell them it is the live performance of the 'Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou' sound track. Tell them you can all grab a barbecue sandwich for supper while you are there.
What you don't have to tell them – like they would listen if you did – is that when they are grown, and telling their own children the story of their growing up years in Escambia County, Alabama, this is the stuff they will talk about. This is what memories are made of. This is the good stuff.
And if you are lucky enough to have one slump over in sleep in your lap on the way home that evening, take a minute and smell her hair. It will smell like a cross between an oak fire and a dirty puppy.
And it is better than Chanel No. 5 any day of the week.
Connie Nowlin is managing editor of the Atmore Advance and may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at

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