On Wednesday, Feb. 12, I opened my blinds to see an almost magical snow scene. It was a pristine picture since no one had walked or driven on the snow. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
I realized how fortunate Chattanoogans are to live in a section of the country where seasons are distinct. As Percy Shelley wrote, "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"
The same thing is true of the seasons of our lives. The first life season, and perhaps the most important since it affects all others, is childhood. One of the saddest statistics about children in the United States is that last year there were 762,940 documented reports of abused and neglected children between birth and 12 years old. For children under 1 year old, there were 149,834 cases reported; ages 2 to 5 - 196,650 cases; 6 to 9 - 63,500 cases; 10 to 13 - 132,568 cases.
It also is documented that children who are loved and properly cared for usually become happy, confident and achieving adults. Last weekend I saw some results of good parenting when my granddaughter, Ellen Mohney Gray, brought her 3-1/2-year-old son, Jackson, and his twin, five-month-old brothers, Carter and Maddox, to visit her parents, Ralph and Jackie Mohney.
I observed that loving, joyful parenting resulted in calm, healthy twins and a delightful 3-year-old. I had almost forgotten at what an early age children learn life lessons and responsibilities. For example, since my ordered Valentine gift for Jackson did not arrive on time, I placed some $1 bills in his Valentine card. He was delighted.
When I asked what he would do with the money, he replied without hesitation: "I will give the first one to Jesus; the second one to my savings; and I will decide how I should use my part." Obviously, his parents had already begun teaching money management.
All these attributes will help Jackson move more easily into adolescence, young adulthood, mid-life, and the senior years. Each season is distinct.
Contact Nell Mohney at firstname.lastname@example.org.