Lessons in Being a Gentleman

Dear Diary,

It’s been awhile! Now that my life has calmed down a bit, I am free to get writing again 🙂

So I am very traditional as far as etiquette goes. I owe this to my upbringing and influences from my mother and grandparents. It surprises me that people don’t know how to properly set a table with all the utensils, or that people don’t know proper etiquette for certain things. Or that you shouldn’t wear white shoes and purses after Labor Day. Or that when passing food around a table, you pass from right to left. Or that if someone asks for just the salt, you always pass the salt and the pepper together.  Or that when eating soup, you move your spoon away from you to scoop up the soup before bringing it to your mouth. Or how to set your utensils on your plate at a restaurant, or a formal dinner to let your server/hostess know you’ve finished eating vs. if you’re still eating. I don’t think anyone really knows or practices this anymore but me 😦 I found a book in my great-grandmother’s library about 8 years ago written in the 1940s about instructions for proper etiquette. I can honestly say, I’ve not found many books I enjoyed more than that one. Sad isn’t it? haha. Well, needless to say, I am trying to pass down these little niceties to my kids. So every chance I can, I try to instill what is proper, what is courteous and what is appropriate. Of course, they are still little so they are still getting a grasp on what is socially acceptable, but they have basic manners and politeness pretty well in hand. Whenever we go on walks, I take that opportunity to teach my son chivalry. Because it is NOT dead. If I have to single-handedly revive it, I will. When we walk, I have Jadon & Lilly walk along in front of me holding hands. Jadon knows that when it’s just the two of them walking together, he always takes the street side. He knows it’s his job to protect his sister from harm and to be willing to put himself in harm’s way before he lets harm come to her. If she starts out on the “wrong” side, he’ll firmly take her other hand and say, “No Lilly, the gentleman always walks by the street so you are safe.” They walk along and Jadon gently (usually) guides her where they need to go. He knows that he is to hold on to her when crossing the street all the way from one side to the other. Today we were on a walk on our way down to the park and Lilly was crouched on the sidewalk fixing her shoe. Jadon had wandered about 5 feet away and was looking at something. Then he heard an SUV coming and he ran to Lilly, putting himself street side in front of her, covering her and said, “Stay there Lilly, there’s a car. I’ll protect you!” I beamed at him and said, “Good job Jadon. Well done!” His chest puffed out with pride and he said, “I have to protect my sister.” He took Lilly’s hand and we continued walking along and I heard Lilly, “Thanks, J.J. for “tecting” me.” 🙂 So precious. Jadon is pretty obsessed with his manners. He rarely forgets to say “please” and “thank you” and he is constantly reminding Lilly that she won’t get what she’s asking for unless she asks properly for it. He enjoys telling me how polite he is going to be to people we’re going to meet. When we’re on our way to see someone, 9 times out of 10, he says to me, “Okay Mom, when I see them, I’m going to give them a hug and say ‘Nice to see you again!’ But if they’re a new friend, I’ll shake their hand and say, ‘Nice to meet you!'” He gets so excited about it! And it’s pretty funny to see the reaction on people’s faces when a four year old comes up to them offering his hand for a shake saying, “Nice to Meet you.” And of course, Lilly, being the little sister, copies most everything Jadon does, so usually she do the same. I think it’s very important to teach your children about the preciousness of other people and to consider others before yourself. So often in this culture, we are made to believe that we should only look out for ourselves, or put ourselves first. It’s all in the name of self-preservation. But as Christians, we are taught to put others first. It’s not the easiest route to take, but it’s right.

Time for a little Q&A-

571. Do any commercials make you want to break your TV? Yes. Most of them.

572. Have you ever lost your religion? No.

573. Do you want to share your life with someone? I already share my life with the most amazing man.

574. Where ARE the wild things? Sitting here with me watching Chicken Run.

575. Would you rather have a child genetically related to you or an adopted child? I already have 3 children genetically related to me and that’s plenty. But thanks to maternal instinct, I think I could love an adopted child just as much as one I carried myself.

576. If I had a birthday party would you come? This is a stupid question.

577. What seemingly impossible thing is POSSIBLE? Taking 3 children all under the age of 5 ANYWHERE. Haha

578. What song do you love to sing out loud? I love singing any song out loud!

579. Have you ever run through the woods naked and played in a stream? Did I ever tell you about the time I got arrested when….just kidding.

580. Have you ever taken long solitary night walks? Yes, and I wish you could fit more than one person on a treadmill.

581. Is there more to you than anyone knows? yep

582. Can you make tonight the night that you do the things you always wanted to do? Probably not haha

583. Would you rather watch life on TV or LIVE it? Depends on what show I’m watching!

584. What keeps you chained down? nothing

585. What is the nagging feeling in the back of your head? Well I slept weird last night and my neck hurts, so that.

586. Do you celebrate yourself? Yes. It’s called a well fitted pair of jeans and rocking heels 🙂

587. Does everyone get the same opportunities in life? Sadly, no

588. What would you consider to be better than sex? Whoever wrote this question is obviously not married to my husband 😉

Till Next Time!

Ashley

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