Life’s lessons

Published 1:12am Sunday, June 22, 2014

Life lessons are never easy.  Growing up, there were plenty of lessons my parents taught my brothers and I along the way.  We learned how to treat people, the art of accountability, when to keep our mouths shut and the importance of respect. Sometimes I had to learn things the hard way.  One day my mother decided to break me of the habit of biting my nails. To “train” me to keep my fingers out of my mouth, she would dab some peppermint oil on my nails that would burn if I tried to chew on them.  The problem was, I actually liked the burning, flavorful taste of the peppermint oil and not only continued to bite my nails, but eventually climbed up on the countertop in the kitchen to get the little vial of oil out of the cupboard for an extra taste or two. That was my first mistake.  No sooner had I managed to remove the top from the vial, it slipped from my fingers and spilled all over the counter I was kneeling on.  That was mistake number two.  Feeling clever, I sat down and proceeded to wipe the evidence away with the seat of my jeans.  It only took a minute before I realized that the amount of oil soaking through my jeans was not going to be the satisfying burning sensation I had when I nibbled at the little dabs of oil on my fingernails.  Thankfully my mom got me into an oatmeal bath to sooth my burning flesh, but not before she had already spanked me. That was a tough life lesson to learn, but it did teach me to think things through before proceeding with my plans. Recently my son and I were talking about how tough it is to grow in life.  He is at that age where the life lessons never seem to end.  His arrival to manhood is fast approaching and before I know it, he will be utilizing all the lessons he’s learned on his journey to adulthood.  One of the hardest things a parent faces is seeing their child go through a growing period and knowing that they have to stand back and allow their child to experience the full impact of life.  This must be what they call tough love.  Lessons in life are meant to be passed down, to be shared and embraced, and once the sting of the lesson subsides, you usually come out the other side a better man for it.

Paul Barry is the managing editor and can be reaxched by email at or by phone at 601-636-4545 ext. 123.

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