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From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: re·lent·less

Function: adjective

Date: circa 1592

: showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace : unrelenting

Funny thing about having kids. You think you will spend their formative years teaching them what they need to know to become responsible, God-honoring adults, and you do, but if you’re paying attention, they teach you as much as you teach them — especially about yourself. Before I had kids, I was one of those obnoxious people without kids who considered herself a bit of an expert on how not to raise a child. I would watch with disdain when a child had a meltdown at the grocery store. “That child needs discipline!”, or “The reason that child pulls that crap is because he is allowed to get away with it.”

Parenting is nothing if not humbling. If words had a caloric value, I would be a pretty sizable woman by now. I’ve eaten my share of them. What I failed to realize before I had children of my own is they are not little robots to be programmed by their well meaning parents. They have their own set of characteristics –either nature or nurture –that makes each child unique; each person unique. And while the physical characteristics my husband and I passed down to our children are glaringly obvious, it has taken a few years to fully grasp some of the less tangible characteristics. You know, the ones where you turn to your spouse and say, “He/she got that from you!”

But here’s something I’m finally figuring out after all this time. I’m a fairly laid back person. (No, really — I am). But when I set my mind to something, I am not easily dissuaded from seeing it through. Call it stubbornness if you will. That’s how I read it when this trait reared its ugly head in BOTH my children. I’m telling you, THEY WILL WEAR YOU DOWN if they want something. Not necessarily by whining (Praise Jesus they are past that stage for now), but by pleading and negotiation in any and all forms. I have to smile because I was exactly like that as a child. My mom’s favorite line was, “Just give it to her. She’s never going to shut up until you do.” Annoying? Yes. Did I get my share of poundings from my sisters and brother? Definitely. But you know what? They didn’t beat one of my defining qualities out of me.