Just this morning I was standing in the kitchen, scrambling eggs and thinking about how many things there are to teach children. I get so overwhelmed by it sometimes. HOW will I teach them everything that they need to know to be responsible grown-ups, and HOW will I teach them to be loving and kind and good, and HOW...it goes on and on. Then I remembered this post, so I read it, and I felt better. I hope it makes you feel a little less overwhelmed too...
I will focus my efforts on helping them build character.
I will structure their lives to ensure that when they're grown,
they'll be successful people.
I will read them stories and play them songs
that teach them right from wrong.
I will sign them up for activities to make sure they'll be well-rounded,
the type of guys who play sports and at least one instrument.
I will take them to church every Sunday,
dropping them at their classes and picking them up,
to make sure they'll hear how to live their faith.
I will fight to get them into a school that's just right for them,
and then stay on top of homework and grades (and teachers).
I will tell them what shows they aren't allowed to watch
and why, and I'll monitor their computer time.
I will feed them fruits and vegetables, whole grains and proteins
to help their bodies grow.....
Yes, that's what I will do.....
I suppose those are all good things, but it sure seems like a lot.
And I figure this means I'll need to live what I'm telling them to live.
I'll need to engage in activities that keep me well-rounded. I'll need to exercise and maybe even take up playing an instrument. I'll need to strive to reach my personal goals, doing things I love. I'll need to live in a way that teaches them right from wrong. I'll need to eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains and proteins to keep my body healthy. I'll need to tell myself what shows I can watch and why, and monitor my computer time. I'll need to live my faith past Sunday mornings and love unconditionally. Overall, I'll need to live a disciplined and organized life, because I'll need to be an example of the kind of life I'm striving to create for them.
That would all be good....
But it sure seems like a lot.
And then it hits me....
Above all the rest,
I need to sit with them, really being with them,
talking to them and respecting them.
I need to accept myself when I don't get it right, just as I accept them.
I need to forgive myself when I fail at the list, just as I forgive them.
I need to take them places and show them things,
while I listen and care deeply about their thoughts,
big and small.
At times I need to forgo keeping us busy with activities
so we can have time to just be together.
I need to laugh with them and cry with them.
I need to take care of their hearts.
That is how I will speak the most loudly of the love I have for them.
I will give them me.
They are worth my time, that's what they'll learn.
And that sure seems like a lot.
Heather has two small boys, a husband, a dog, a minivan, a fence, and a weird sense of humor. She writes about her days as a SAHM and whatever else randomly closes in on her mind. Blogging is what keeps her focused on the extraordinary gifts that are all wrapped up in the everyday ordinary. And so she loves it, even more than she loves marshmallow Peeps. You can read more from Heather at her award winning blog, The Extraordinary Ordinary.