If you knew me as a young child, you might have called me sweet. Teachers loved me. I got praise at all the parent teacher conferences. But to those closest to me, they knew the truth. I was a brat.
My aunt, Sandy, was just a few years older than me. And she got the main brunt of my brat-ness. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a sibling, so I didn’t know how to deal with issues like jealousy or hurt feelings. And since Sandy and I did many things more like sisters than aunt/niece- and I didn’t know how to act- I became quite the little brat.
One of the funniest stories I remember was one day she and I were with my mom at her lawyer’s office. I don’t remember why we were there (they had a business, and I’m sure they were working through some sort of business issue)…but it felt like we were there for a while. I remember fighting with Sandy, and then somehow, even though she was older and bigger than me, forcing her into the bathroom. I told her to lock herself in the bathroom so I didn’t have to be around her.
Then I remember sliding hate mail under the door to her (stuff like “I’ll hate you forever”, really deep stuff for an 8 year old) and keeping her locked in the bathroom until mom came out and rescued her.
Y’all. It was bad.
But somewhere along the way, I learned a few things. I learned how to control my emotions. I learned to love people even when they make you mad. I learned that family is family no matter what.
A while ago, I was visiting with my aunt and she said “If you acted as an adult the way you did when you were a kid, I wouldn’t want to talk to you. Ever.” Which is funny now. But then I think, what if I was still a brat like that? I know adults who still behave like that- demaning things, being ungrateful, thinking they deserve things. I’m just glad that along the way I got some good parenting, some grace from Jesus, and some hard lessons learned. I’m so thankful I learned lessons, found Jesus, and am living in a lot more grace, consideration and control.
Were you a brat as a child? I can’t be the only one, right? I’d love to hear your bratty confessions.