I'd like to interrupt the HS decision stories with a lesson I learned this week. I've been worried about how I can teach my children to develop characteristics that I don't have. How can I teach them organization when I am so scattered? How can I teach them patience when so often I run out of it? How can I teach them physical education when I am very very VERY uncoordinated? Seriously, if it has a ball, I can't play it.
If you know me in real life, you will know that I am terrible at following through. I get excited about something and lose interest half way because I get excited about something else. For this reason, if you look carefully through my drawers and cupboards (please don't!), you might find: Jewelry making supplies even though I only made one pair of earrings, artist chalk for that one drawing, a pilates video that made for a challenging workout...twice, half a crocheted potholder, an exercise ball that has become a favorite toy for B&J.....the list goes on....and on....and on.....
This summer, I bought the kids a wading pool. It had a slipper slide and a dinosaur that sprays water through it's mouth. B & J had great fun with this! (four times) Do you see a pattern here? In my lack of following through, I drained the pool and let it sit on the deck until this week. From July to October. It was green, mossy, slimy, dirty, full of leaves. All of me wanted to throw it out and forget about it. The temptation was STRONG. I looked at B and said, "What if we throw this out and get a different one next year?" B said, "Mommy, I love it."
That is what I needed to hear. If I threw it out, what would that teach B about being good stewards of what God has given us? Aren't I always asking him to pick his toys up so they won't get ruined? Then it hit me. This is how I teach my children what I may not possess. They will observe me dealing with the consequences. I will learn these traits right along with them.
I explained to B that because I left the pool out to get yucky, it was my responsibility to scrub it clean. I can not even begin to describe the look of satisfaction it gave him to realize Mommy makes mistakes...and that I had a punishment of sorts. I scrubbed and sprayed and scrubbed and sprayed. B and Jilly laughed hysterically when I dropped the sprayer on the ground as it continued to spray me in the face. I tackled that dinosaur all the while wondering why I hadn't noticed the mocking smirk on its face in July. It felt good, really good! to get that pool cleaned up and put away. I didn't have the guilt of ruining their pool and taking the easy way out.
I can't wait to see all the lessons God has planned for my children and me. Maybe we'll learn organization and patience. I'm hoping to relearn geography and history. I didn't pay too much attention the first time around. You never know, perhaps someday soon I'll be able to throw the football with a perfect spiral...or at least not close my eyes when catching one.
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