Who's life have I influenced, outside my immediate family? Now that's a question???
After much thought,I believe it must have been my best friend Rhonda, and her husband David.
During the days before caller ID, you took you chances and just answered your phone. At our house, it was often Rhonda who would immediately say "Is it a phase he's going through, or should I just kill him now and get it over with?" I would laugh and ask her what the boy had done. By the time we hung up, we were both laughing. Oh and she didn't kill the kid!
After many of these conversations, Rhonda told me how much she had learned from talking to me and watching me raise my boys.
The "Learning Incident" I remember the clearest was when my oldest son asked repeatedly to have his ear pierced. I, of course, said no. Loudly and repeatedly!
So when he came home, pierced anyway, and I didn't flip out, they were a little surprised. I just took his earring, and put him on restriction for 2 weeks. When he left the room, David asked why I was so lenient with him. I said "If a pierced ear is the worst he does in defiance of me, then I 'll consider myself lucky."
So when their oldest son was entering his teens, Rhonda told me that my handling of "The Earring Incident" taught her the most important thing she had ever learned about raising kids..."It's all about picking your battles." She said.
I had no idea I was so wise!