Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Paper Cutout Kiddos


Hey, did you know I’m a mom? I have three sons. And all of them have made it to adulthood! 🙂

I learned most of what I know about parenting from my mom and her friends. Without knowing I was learning, of course. My parents were both really young when they first created their family. They got married when they were 18 and 19.

mom, dad and lindy

I was born two years later, so they were 20 and 21.

mom, dad and me

One day, I heard my mom say, “The first child should be made out of paper so you could throw them away.”

My mom wanted to throw me away?

Okay, that might not be everything she said, but it’s what I heard. My feelings were h-u-r-t. Mama didn’t like me. She wanted to put me in the dumpster. Waaaah!

Many years later I had kids of my own, and finally understood what she meant. She wished she’d had a disposable kid to make her mistakes on so she didn’t have to make them on her own kids. (I understand that now because I felt the same way.)

happy boys

I’m the mom who spanked the bed one time when she was supposed to give her son a spanking because I just didn’t have the heart to whip him. (Then I told him to cry.)

I’m the mom who told her son to cry LOUD the time she got pulled over by the highway patrol for speeding. (He didn’t, and I got a ticket.)

gotta feed the baby

And when my oldest son misbehaved in preschool, he strolled to the youth minister’s office (supposed to be like the principal’s office) crawled up in a chair and said, “So, what should we talk about?”

I didn’t make my kids take naps. (Send the nap police!)

My kids didn’t have bedtimes until they started school.

And when my cousin and his wife stayed with us for a few weeks, one son (2 or 3 years old at the time) stayed right up with every conversation. “So, what should we talk about now?”

And when he started school, he talked with the teachers just like he did his classmates.

I made lots of mistakes, and not only with the first one.

Maybe they all should have been made of paper, but they weren’t. Now they’re adults with beautiful wives, and I’m very proud to be their mom.


I just wonder where they learned to be the men they are.

Must have been from their dad.