Thursday, September 25, 2008

Say it loud, you're my kid and I'm proud

I'm plowing my way through Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby. All 799 pages of silliness and extravagance. I love Dickens, but I suggest you opt for Tale of Two Cities instead. Even though I'm about ready to muzzle Nicholas with his ever-loving top hat, still the luxury of older literature is the authors' indulgence in asides. They weren't addicted to efficiency and pithiness and staying on point the way we are. If opportunity arose for a two paragraph digression on smallmindedness or political jockeying or relative nose sizes--anything really--they would happily wander down that path, yielding gems such as this:

"Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it cannot be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues--faith and hope."

I've always hated the idea that my pride in my children is unrighteous. I've tried substituting "I'm pleased with you" for "I'm proud of you," but it doesn't sit right. Pleased is such a milk toast word for the furious joy I feel for my children's accomplishments and growth. I'm not proud in the sense of feeling better than others or that the goodness is my doing, but proud of them I am indeed.


  1. What a great line! I have a hard time with that same thing so I love it.

  2. You know in the 38 FV account God introduces his beloved son, in whom he is "well pleased".

    But I can see what you're saying.

  3. Ang I just love your blog! I'm so proud of you.

  4. Mark [this is my brother we're talking about], I'm always very proud of you in a faith and hope kind of way as well. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. I'm reading a book where everyone always prefaces a compliment with "Now I don't want you to get the big head," but I definitely think there is no way to avoid it with regards to our children. My two year old says Brachiosaurus and I about bust a button.