A Humbling Parenting Lesson

My guess is right now you are trying to figure out what in the world this is! Well, you are looking at a small, clay figure that represents a BIG, humbling parenting lesson! 


To my boys (and anyone who looks carefully with an open mind), this is a young child’s interpretation of Marvin the Martian, a popular Looney Tunes character of the time. To me, however, this will always be a reminder of the day I blew it big time as a parent. (Sadly, it wasn’t the first, nor the last, but it WAS the most powerful- to date.)

About 25 years ago, I took both boys to this terrific little pottery class. They were super excited to create something that would be fired in the kiln, so they immediately set to work. My oldest worked diligently on this figure of Marvin the Martian. As he was glazing it, he innocently asked, “Mom, are Marvin the Martian’s shoes black or white?” I replied that they were black. My younger son corrected me and said, “No, Mom. His shoes are white.” “No, they’re black,” I insisted. “Uh-uh. They’re white.” We went back and forth for a minute until I used all of my grown up power to end the debate once and for all. “Boys,” I said (I still cringe to this day) “Moms know these things! Marvin the Martian’s shoes are black!” 😳

So, my sweet, innocent child listened to his Mommy and dutifully painted Marvin’s shoes black.

Now would be a good time to take a look at the real character from the cartoon. 


Just because our children are small doesn’t mean they are don’t know anything. Not only did I apologize profusely that day, I told my boys how I learned a BIG lesson. Parents teach children, sure, but children can teach parents, too! 

Since that humbling day, I have become a better parent and a better person by listening to and valuing what my children have to say. They have taught me so much over the years and still do today! And Marvin sits on the bookshelf, always watching, just in case I forget.