Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mom’s Report Card?

Standard

I often wonder if I’m making mistakes regarding how I raise my children (as, I assume, do most parents).  It’s difficult to find the balance between neglect and coddling, between telling too much or too little.

It’s also difficult to know how you’re really doing, as parents, until your kids get quite a bit older and start making decisions on their own.  There aren’t quarterly assessments that rate these things (as I have always wished there were).

One of the things that I’ve tried to teach my children is that they should care for the plight of others AND do so without being naively taken advantage of.  We live in a relatively urban area and frequently encounter people (homeless and otherwise) asking for help in some form or other – often money.

 

‘Giving money to strangers can be dangerous – they could hurt you in order to steal your wallet.’

‘Giving money to strangers can leave you feeling taken advantage of – like I felt when I was in high school and shared my tips with a man whom I later saw walking out of the liquor store across the street.’

‘Giving to strangers can also be so, incredibly rewarding – leaving you feeling that you were able to help another person, that YOU were able to make a difference.’

‘God wants us to share what He’s given us with others (as you do unto the least of these, you do also unto me).’

 

Aaron and I have discussed the above points and more with the children at various times, hoping that they would grow up being both generous and discerning.  We’ve also shared that giving a person food, or work can be far better (for everyone involved) than handing him or her money.

Today I received insight into how well my teaching is sinking in with my children and I am so proud.

 

On early dismissal days many of the children that attend my kids’ school go out for lunch together.  Today, there was a man (apparently homeless) who was asking for money in order to buy lunch.  When the man asked him, Zak said that he didn’t have any money and was left alone.

Coincidentally, today was also ‘Customer Appreciation Day’ at the sandwich shop and Zak won a free toasted sandwich (which he didn’t want).  As Zak was eating his (non-toasted) sandwich with his friends it occurred to him that he should give the certificate to the homeless man  – who (thankfully) accepted it and had his lunch there as well.

When Zak shared this story with me it was clear that this act of giving was a positive experience for him and I was thrilled to know that he’d been paying attention both to our lessons and to the needs of another.

It seems that, at least in this area, our values are being passed on just fine…

Time is marching on…

Standard

Today is a monumental one for my family, or at least it feels like one to me.

My daughter (the baby of our little family) turned ten years old today.  Double digits.  On her way to being a teenager.  This year, instead of barbies, she wanted jewelry and clothes for her birthday.  The birthday party theme was ‘Rock Star’; there were no goodie bags and pin the tail on the donkey was replaced by a dance competition. 

Then there’s my son.  Newly a teenager (this past January) he’s changing as well.  Not only was today Morgan’s birthday, but it was also the first day of school – and Zak started 8th grade.  If he were going to another school, it may not have hit me as hard but at St Peters, where the students attend Kindergarten through 8th grade – today signified the beginning of the end. 

I remember walking that little five year old into school on the first day of school nine years ago (NINE years – it doesn’t even seem possible).  He held our hands and hugged and kissed me and his daddy good-bye, as we left him in the care of Miss Downing (after taking a photo of him at his desk and with the teacher).  Today my husband and I each got a quick (sideways) hug about half a block away from the school and he was off.  We were instructed not to come up to the hall where his locker and homeroom are located.  We had to settle for walking his sister in (who, incidentally also left us at the door to her classroom).

In one year it will be high school for Zak.  New beginnings, new friends, new role models.  MUCH less time for mom and dad.  And high school only lasts four years … then he’ll be gone.

And I will miss him SO MUCH.

Zak is really a lot like me.  Sometimes that drives me utterly crazy, when he shows tendencies to do things that I struggle with.  But I LIKE hanging out with him, I LIKE talking to him and hearing his thoughts.  Boys are supposed to pull away from their mothers right about now and I’m just not ready for that.  I miss the infant I brought home from the hospital just last week (or so it seems), I miss the three year old that asked me just how many people died in the civil war and the first grader who pushed for our family to become more spiritual because he felt drawn to God himself.

Where did the time go?

I really love seeing my kids grow up, they are turning into really neat people, I never doubt that for a second.  But it’s going too quickly for me.  So quickly.  And I’m not ready for this season of my life to come to an end.

I already miss both of them…

                                                                … so much.

 

                                                       

Aside

I like to think about things and talk – a lot.  I love reading and writing, although, even though I have ideas, I never seem to find the time for the latter.  I think I need an outlet.

Many of my friends have blogs and I really enjoy reading what they share about their lives and families. My husband has been encouraging me to blog for quite some time (to be completely honest, he’s been encouraging me for  YEARS) but I’ve been reluctant for so many reasons.  Frankly I’m a bit intimidated when I read the blog posts of others, I’m not nearly the caliber of writer that some of my dear friends are.  But I have things that I want to say, and share that feel all bottled up inside, so I’ll write.

Maybe I’ll like it…

Hello World