So what shall we gain from children in our lives? This question is not just for parents and grandparents, but anyone who encounters children in your life. If you have little opportunity to be around kids, I’m thinking you should go to a park where kids might be playing and just enjoy watching!
For me the bottom line is this:
Take time to watch and learn from them.
If we don’t, we can get away from the essence of what being a human is all about. I posted earlier about why we have children in our world:
to learn to nurture,
to observe the world with a child’s eyes,
to have joy in just being alive,
to learn just for learning’s sake
to have child-like faith in our Maker
I’d hate to be in a world without kids, or baby anythings. It verifies the newness, hope, and pure fun that lies inside of me, given to me by a loving God.
Last night I attended a relaxing barbecue party with good teacher friends. They were invited to bring their families. There were babies no more than a few months old wrapped in snuggies, toddlers chasing the family dog or wielding light sabers against invisible foes, and those past being toddler-hood but not yet preteens who took on the air of being the oldest. What joy I found in watching them! No pretense, no hesitancy in having fun, no concern about appearances. It gave balance to my adult time. I watched the parents too – some being concerned about their kids were doing the right thing or if their needs were being met right then and there. I so remember how that was: loving my child SO much that I crowded every possible ‘teaching’ or ‘tending’ into my life to make sure she was going to be OK. I wonder if being a grandparent has changed my point of view. And so this post.
Lessons I’ve Learned (or what I wish I knew when I started my parent journey)
~ Trust children to God – better yet, teach children to trust God’s care.
~ Choose a childlike spirit over a cyncial spirit. Moma Monk Being responsive, teachable, having a sense of wonder.
~ Take time. Take time to watch them, play with them, listen to them, respect them. “Perhaps parenting slow is the bravest choice we can make in our success warped shiny society.”
~ Practice Benevolent Discipline. Be the one lovingly in-charge, just as our Lord is the loving One in charge of all of us. Disciplining begins with respect for yourself and for your child. (some good old-fashioned wisdom)
~ And again, take time. To read to them, to wonder with them, to share your faith with them, to be vulnerable in front of them. “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle
Here’s a question I began Kids with that I haven’t yet answered. I’m wondering if you can answer it now?
Can we learn something about our own life’s purpose from children?
A great truth to teach your children. My prayer is that you let them see this truth in you. “Greatness is seen not in ruling, but in serving; not in commanding, but obeying; not in receiving, but in giving.” Keith Davis Lynwood