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How I Unintentionally Taught “Friendship”


I am very intentional in my parenting, word choices, and hills to die on.

But I can’t control everything (and neither can you, and this is why I’m sharing this).

A few days ago, I picked up my son from school. He had two exams that day. Bear with the dialogue. It’s all true.

“How did your English exam go? Did you do the essay question on how music influences us and our mood? Did you use the link I sent you last night on the brain on music?” Admittedly, the caged former English teacher was being unleashed.

Him: “No, I chose another essay.”

Me: “What was it about?”

Him: “Friendship.”

Me: “Awesome! What did you write about?”

Him: “Well, I wrote about that quote you have on the refridgerator. You know, the one that says, ‘A good friend will get you out of jail but a great friend will be there with you in it’.

My UNSPOKEN thoughts (in order): First year at this CHRISTIAN school. Did he use the word “Damn”? Will I be judged or will he?  I DID have this up 3 YEARS ago as a plaque and took it down after 6 months. It wasn’t EVER on the fridge. Did he use the word “DAMN”? How can I not freak out and get more info from him so I know what I’m dealing with. DAMN.

Me: “Oh, so what does that mean to you?”

Him: “Well, it means that there are people in your life who will help you, but then there will be your best friends who you do things with.”

Me: “Very cool! Like you and your buddies.”

Him: “Yep.”

Me: “The original quote included the word ‘damn’. Did you write that?”

Him: “Hahahahahahahah! No!”

Me: “Okay, well, I’m glad you got through that and it sounds like you had a lot to write about.”

 Mom Whispering notes to self:

a) They ABSOLUTELY take in the stuff you didn’t realize-want-thought they would.

b) Because they take everything in, we have UNBELIEVABLE influence for powerful lessons.

c) It’s ooooooookaaaaaay!!!! Whatever they pickup, whatever ding in our character, whatever teeny tiny imperfection we impart – it’s OOOOKAY!!!! Trust them to make it their own.

Yes, we are returning to the school next year. Yes, I will one day bump into the English teacher. And I will hold my head high, and laugh because if nothing else, our home is all about a wide path for grace (unearned favor and acceptance and love) even for ourselves. 😉

Be you,




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