My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Lesson in Humility, for sure

I know we're all ready for school to start. Everyone is antsy, out of sorts, and getting on each others' nerves. The boys are rolling around wrestling non-stop, the girls are down to criticizing each others' hair (which is definitely their low point).

We went to the Y pool. I was hoping to wear them out and keep them busy. The boys almost immediately got in trouble with the lifeguard for (guess what?) WRESTLING in the pool. So they sat out for 45 minutes (including the adult swim that fell during their time) with me, so how fun was that? But then they got back in and behaved like angels. But it was really good for someone else to yell at them. When that lifeguard blew his whistle, I swear I thought my one son was going to wet his pants. They both started crying. I would have laughed if I hadn't been so embarrassed. Then we had to go through the whole rigamarole of apologizing to the lifeguard, sitting out, etc. And it occurred to me that one of the good things about the end of summer is that the kids do need someone else to 'yell' at them. Well, maybe not yell exactly, but they need to take direction from lots of different adults for a few reasons. First of all, to learn and master taking direction, so they can be coachable in life. Secondly, to wake them up from their complacency that they naturally get when they're with one ruling body all the time (ahem, me). But thirdly, so they can benefit from the strengths of lots of different personality types.

I am SOOOo imperfect and my children are undoubtedly well aware of that. (some days I'd say they're FIXATED on my imperfections) My leading them and teaching them is unrelated to perfectness; it's related to my adult-ness, my scope of experience and spiritual wisdom, just as it is when they listen to and obey other adults. Every adult that is in my child's life-- Sunday School teacher, ballet teacher, school teacher, soccer coach, priest, etc.--helps my child grow and become more coachable, a better learner, and therefore more prepared for adulthood and further spiritual growth.

While there are times I'd like to protect them from that 'mean teacher' or 'unfair coach' or other questionable influence, I've realized that kids can learn just as much, sometimes even more, from the challenging situations of leadership. And certainly a dose of humility, a lifeguard blowing a whistle at you while the whole pool looks on, is a teachable moment for all of us, parents and children.

Redneck Parenting Tips for the Final Days of Summer
1. Forget sunscreen. It's a pain in the ass anyway.
2. Minimize laundry. Get up, put on bathing suits, wear them until pajamas. No exceptions.
3. Purchase soap and shampoo. They'll have to bathe soon when the pool closes for the summer.
4. Get the kids to sharpen all 400 pencils you bought for school and homework time. That'll keep 'em busy.
5. Match up all those socks that have been in your laundry room all summer. The kids will need them soon.
6. Pray for the teachers.

Have a great week. Yes, I'm putting my wrist support back on now. xox

2 comments:

Dorothy said...

I bow to your articulate way of putting across simple, but major, truths, oh, Wise One.
-from an ex mother who once worked at being the adult in the family, not always successfully.

Dorothy said...

It's Monday morning and I hope your wrist is a little better. Miss your blog.

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman