altWe have been talking a lot about responsibility in our household lately.

The kids have a few weeks left of school. Getting everyone up and out the door is like pulling teeth right now. Four alarm clocks blast every morning to wake up our four not-always-responsible children.

It seems like the month of May is when every school, group and organization crams in one more event or finale before turning families loose for summer. As a family, we are being pulled in several directions. We find ourselves at the softball field a couple of nights a week. We have opening night of a play coming up and a dance recital too. Our new business is dependent upon students and the university’s graduation is upon us. Hay season is getting nearer. We have been blessed to attend some weddings, graduations and other exciting milestones but man, we are busy!

Last weekend we celebrated our son’s First Holy Communion and the Sunday after there was NOTHING on the calendar. It was a great day to be home and work together on our garden and yard. Recently, our son acquired a new lawn mower. He is geared up to take on some lawn mowing jobs. Our 10-year-old daughter wants to learn to mow and help keep the garden and flowers watered. Our 12-year-old daughter helps take care of the horses and dogs. Our 6-year-old collects chicken eggs. Our kids have to keep their rooms picked up and put laundry away. They take turns unloading the dishwasher and cleaning up after meals. Are we a sweat shop? No, just a couple of crazy parents teaching them about responsibility.

My husband and I recently had an encounter with a local trucking company at our office in town. When one of the company’s drivers was making a delivery, he accidentally backed into our automated gate. When we discovered the damaged gate at our property, we had no idea what had happened. We searched through several boring hours of security camera recordings only to discover that the truck driver had hit our gate. Did his company call our office the next day to let us know what had happened? No. I had to reach out the dispatcher myself to let him know what his driver had done. We were then told we had to file a claim. We also had to make a police report and pull clippings of all the camera footage of the incident. All because one person chose to deny any responsibility. We are still waiting on a final resolution.

At our business, I have had the privilege of visiting with several sweet mommas over the past few weeks. They are looking for places for their college-age children to store their belongings for the summer. We are so grateful to help them. A few students call in and make reservations for themselves. These are the ones who have learned about responsibility.

Responsibility is the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone. I hope every time our kids face a tough situation, they have been trained to take responsibility. Summer responsibly, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

Jody HarrisEditorial / OpinionsJody Harris,responsibility,responsibleWe have been talking a lot about responsibility in our household lately. The kids have a few weeks left of school. Getting everyone up and out the door is like pulling teeth right now. Four alarm clocks blast every morning to wake up our four not-always-responsible children. It seems like the...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma