As the discussions carried on, I couldn't help but feel like I couldn't fully relate to certain parts of the book or to what my coworkers were sharing. What they were sharing...what the book was speaking to...were typical, every day examples of kids being kids. Acting out, not wanting to contribute around the house, participating in a multitude of activities to the point of exhaustion, showing indifference to their surroundings, avoiding their work, yada yada.
- Have been helping around the house since they were about 5 and 4. Why? Kindly refer to the title of this blog.
- Carefully choose extracurricular activities according to how many days/nights per week they would require. Why? Blog title.
- Read people like a book. If you're sad or don't feel well and want to go unnoticed? Don't interact with either of my kids. They'll know. They don't have subscriptions to the psychic friends network...they just know. I dislike that, because I can't pull one over on 'em;-) How do they do it? Again, blog title.
I'm not owning their compassion as the work of my husband and I. Sure, we purposefully parent them and do our best to teach them how to live a life that glorifies God. But honestly, they've always just sort of "had" it. I mean, I remember growing up under the assumption that my parents were perfect. Whatever they said was it. They could do no wrong. Ever.
My kids? Learned early on how imperfect their mother was. Between the headers I took down the stairs, the scene I caused at my son's kindergarten classmate's birthday party (really, shouldn't an ambulance be on stand by at a roller rink for just such an occasion?), the time I spent flat on my back in my failure of Avonex, the family vacations I spent asleep in the hotel room, the locking myself in a room when pseudobulbar moments struck, the field trips I spent in the ladies' room with a finicky bladder, the wreckage I caused whilst mowing grass on neurontin...need I continue?
These were just a few of the things I considered as I sat and halfway listened to the typical, everyday household challenges that others shared.
My mind drifted to consider the way I'm greeted when I arrive home from work. My son rushes to my car door, opens it, and asks if there is anything to be carried in. My daughter has already put the dishes away and folded the laundry. When I ask my son if he wants us to sign him up in an additional hockey or soccer league, he respectfully declines and says, "nah, that would be too much". And the one that gets me every time...when they're feeling under the weather and drag themselves out of bed, shuffle downstairs for breakfast, and attempt to get past me and on the bus - which they don't succeed in - they say, "you do this every day, Mom. Can't let a (cold, stomach ache, cough) keep me from school." I tell them what I want someone to tell me. "Go back to bed!"
I can see that God is working something as ugly as ms out for good on some level. It has taught my kids compassion, perseverance, and determination. It's also taught them to look to the Lord for comfort and strength. I'm almost compelled to write to the author and tell him his book is great and all, and that I love how he's trying to tell us to teach children to have this "Godward direction"...but that ms kinda beat him to it. Because it's snarky like that ;-)
Friends, stay well:-)))
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. - Romans 8:18
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28