It’s funny how everybody has opinions about how to raise kids. Some things work for this kid. Other tactics work for that one. No two kids are exactly alike. That’s for sure! My mama, being the good Southern mother she was, had an unconventional approach to parenting. It appears she used the “Willie Nelson/Waylon Jennings method”. If you ain’t quite sure what in the world that is, just follow me down this rabbit trail for a bit.
Mama loved to listen to country music. Willie & Waylon were 2 of her favorites. The song, “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” was literally written about how to bring up your kids. The lyrics go:
Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys Don’t let ’em pick guitars and drive them old trucks Make ’em be doctors and lawyers and such
So, that’s just what mama did. She made sure my brother was raised with all the Southern graces & hospitality that a boy could be. He did not attend cotillion classes, however, was well versed in how to act right, carry on conversations with politeness, & mind his manners at the table. His learning came from being a preacher’s kid. My mama wouldn’t have her kids carrying on like a bunch of hooligans. He was to behave & “act like he had some raisins’ ”. She was the first to tell him when his behavior was less than stellar. Many times it could be a swift smack. My mama was a smacker. So you knew what was coming if you did step out of line. Daddy was more of a belt man. I saw this the other day & thought, yep, more people need to be buying & using these.
Daddy did use the occasional ping pong paddle. But, low & behold, it must not have done any permanent damage to Bud because, ya’ll, he grew up to be a lawyer. Just like Willie & Waylon used to sing about. And mama was so proud of him. She wouldn’t boast of it much, because, you know, not everybody’s boy got to be a lawyer. She didn’t want people to think for a second ANY of us had become high falootin’. (Because mama didn’t raise him to think he was better than anybody else. It must have really worked. He has passed that attribute on to his kids. Who are both a hoot & a half, but are very grounded in life.) I would say, if done right, the Willie & Waylon parenting method has some salt to it. For my brother, at least. It kept him from:
- Growing up to be a cowboy. (the kind that is a self seeking wanderer & never stays in one place for long at a time. Which we did think for awhile there he was going to be a bachelor for life. But thank the LORD for my sister-in-law, who changed all that for good.) Mind you he has cleaned many a barn stalls, rode horses, tended to hogs, chickens, dogs, cats, & swam in the branch on hot summer days.
- Being a truck driver. Albeit, there are worse things to be. However, he has opted for a life off the road to make his living. Although, there was the time he moved to Atlanta to work. He lived in his car, ate on the run, & didn’t shower much. That’s kinda like a truck driver.
- Never staying home & always being alone. Let me say he would much rather be at home than traveling. It’s just something about sleeping in a house with all your peeps under one roof, that is good for the soul. There is always camaraderie going on with his bunch. Ne’er a dull moment.
- Loving smoky ole pool rooms. Mind you, he does love a friendly game of pool. He has never been the one to let leisure & responsibility collide. Being responsible & a rock for us all to lean on has always been his specialty. This is where I need to say he is God fearing, too. Good people is what he is.
- Being hard to love. If you are around my brother, for any amount of time, & do not deem him likeable & more fun than a ride at the county fair, then you need to quit being such a stick in the mud. He’s always the life of the party. He loves to laugh. And ya’ll, he is quite the dancer. Not the kind of dancer that has any rhythm, but hey, he’s out there trying. You have to LOVE that. My kids think he is the BEST & hands down, I totally agree.
I know Father’s Day has just passed, but I did want to give a shout out to a WONDERFUL brother, daddy, & friend. He is a terrific brother that has such a great sister. Dadgum, he’s lucky.
Thank you for coming by to visit with me today. I hope everybody had a good Father’s Day weekend. We had a birthday we celebrated, as well. It was outside & it was hot. But we are into June with this year, so it was just as expected. Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.