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When Children Turn into Cats
by Tom Goodman
May 6, 2015

"I just realized," Adair Lara once wrote, "that while children are dogs, teenagers are cats."  I liked her analogy:

It's easy to be a dog owner.  You feed it, train it, boss it around.  It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting.  It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.

Then, around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat.  When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you king.  Instead of dogging your footsteps, it disappears.  You won't see it again until it gets hungry -- then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you're serving.  When you reach out to ruffle its head, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.

Realize that all dog owners go through this, and few find it easy.  My glance used to travel from my cat Mike looking regal and aloof on the fence to a foolish German shepherd on the sidewalk across the street, jumping for joy simply because he was getting to go outside.  Now I miss the little boy who insisted I watch Full House with him, and who has now sealed himself into a bedroom with a stereo and TV.  The little girl who wrote me notes and is now peeling rubber in the driveway.

The only consolation is that if you do it right, let them go, be cool as a cat yourself, one day they will walk into the kitchen and give you a big kiss and say, you've been on your feet all day, let me get those dishes for you -- and you'll realize they're dogs again.

Some of you moms can identify, huh?

This Sunday is Mother's Day, and it gives us a chance to honor moms and remember moms.  It's also a good day to review the important work of being a parent.  In the sermon, we're going to look at Proverbs 4:20-27 to discover some "Wise Words from Winning Parents."  It's a useful review for dads as well as moms.  Join us at 10am.


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