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Your kids might be AMAZING, but I 'm happy with my PRODIGIOUS offspring

Hey. You. Yes, you. Take your fingers from that keyboard. You don't need to upload pictures of their AMAZINGNESS to Facebook and you don't need to Tweet it. The directive, "Repost this as your status if you have an AMAZING daughter," or ". . . an AMAZING son," throws cold water in my face. I've got it. You reposted. Your kids are AMAZING. They are. AMAZING.

Mother's Day weekend approaches with me fully aware that you have AMAZING children, and I have four slightly flawed kids who don't always respond when spoken to the first time, or sometimes even the second or third times. They frequently forget their ma'ams and sirs. I've caught them in untruths.

When I ask them to clean the kitchen, they moan. When I tell them to clean their rooms, they groan. At the hint of yard work, they vaporize into thin air.

I don't guess parents of AMAZING children have these problems. AMAZING children hang up their wet towels instead of dropping them on their bedroom floors. AMAZING children never put school projects off until the last minute. AMAZING children don't whine or beg or pout. And the shoes of AMAZING children are neatly lined up in their closets, by pairs. The closet door is even closed.

Somehow, when I visited God's garden to gather my drops of sunshine, all the AMAZING children had been picked. I happily harvested from another row, not knowing what I had in my treasure sack until I unswaddled them at home.

I brought home kids who chameleon into their surroundings when they hear my minivan approaching. I brought home kids who don't believe that I was ever their age. I got the kids who still require reminders to brush their teeth. They deposit clothes in the bathroom. They think hand washing is for AMAZING sissies. They can't find it in themselves to all smile at the same time or refrain from making ridiculous faces when a camera is pointed at them.

Parents of AMAZING children run well-coordinated PR campaigns and still have time to observe and chronicle and take humble credit for so much AMAZINGNESS. They are AMAZING parents. AMAZING is at the core of their being, like the cream filling in the center of a Twinkie.

Therein rests the problem: I'm defective, too. I burn toast, put off washing clothes and failed to see the merits of daily bed-making until I was 40 years old. There's a dirty dish in my sink most of the time. I gave up on matching socks, throwing the singles into one big basket and letting everyone fend for himself. Not the stuff of AMAZINGNESS; I'm not made of it.

Do not misunderstand. I love my blemished brood. But they aren't AMAZING; not in the way that grace and the vastness of the universe are. They are pretty darn PRODIGIOUS, however, to use an unsung adjective. They're smart. They eat their fruits and vegetables. They show compassion to others. And they laugh whenever the notion strikes their funny bones.

PRODIGIOUS, an adjective so underused, makes AMAZING, in its Facebook frequency, seem, well, AVERAGE. And I feel much better now that I have arrived at the conclusion that Sunday I will spend Mother's Day with PRODIGIOUS offspring. Don't worry, though, yours will still be AMAZING, as always. I just won't mind it so much anymore.

(Lucy Adams is the author of Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run. She lives in Thomson. E-mail Lucy at and visit her Web site,

Web posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011

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