During a year when we've heard so much about the neglect and abuse of children, it's refreshing to hear a mom, despite divorce, say, "I love being a parent."
Those very words came from Lauren Richards, of Eagle Bay, British Columbia. She, along with her 9-year-old twins, Cooper and McKenzie, spent a month this summer with her mother, Jenny Richards, on Signal Mountain.
Though Lauren Richards loved growing up in Chattanooga and attending Red Bank Elementary School, Girls Preparatory School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, she also had a great sense of adventure and wanted to see other sections of our country. Her graduate degree in business is from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and she remained in our nation's capital for several years as a business consultant with such companies as AT&T and Telcordia Technologies.
At the same time, a number of her clients were from the West Coast and beyond. She fell in love with the beauty there and moved to British Columbia.
One summer, she decided to go by horseback along the Pacific Crest Trail. It was there in the desert that she met her husband. Though the marriage eventually ended in divorce, her twins are the joy of her life.
This summer, I got to know those children well and found them to be highly intelligent, talented, polite, respectful of others and fun to be around.
McKenzie had an assignment from her Girl Scout leader to interview an adult from the South. I was honored to be that person. She was the cutest little interviewer I've ever encountered. Since she and her brother attend a French immersion school, McKenzie would occasionally slip into French, but she quickly returned to English. It was delightful to watch.
In the course of our conversation, Lauren Richards commented that she loves being a parent. Spontaneously, McKenzie added, "I want to be a good parent, too, when I grow up."
One thing I'm sure of is that, as recipients of such good parenting from their mother and grandparents, Cooper and McKenzie will be even more terrific as grown-ups.
Nell Mohney is a Christian author, motivational speaker and seminar leader. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.