He really is. This morning he said I "had to come see something quick." "It's a Monarch chrysalis," he exclaimed excitedly. And sure enough, fastened to the stone wall, with the dew still fresh on it's shell, glimmered an exquisite chrysalis. A morning jewel:
So many times throughout the day, when I was annoyed or frustrated with one of the children I thought of my 'morning gift.' Not only was I gladdened to see a Monarch chrysalis, I was made happy by the thought of my children learning to love and appreciate nature as I do. I don't always know if what I'm doing with the children is having an effect, or even matters to them, until I am presented with such a gift as the chrysalis.
What we teach and love with our children always comes back to us. This is actually a rather sobering thought, as we know it works both ways! How many times have I heard one of the children snap at a brother or sister, only to hear myself? We don't have to be perfect with our children, but we need to be authentic. We need to worry less about 'getting it right,' and more about loving them every moment, right or wrong.
It is interesting having teenagers and babies at the same time. With my younger children I am not as concerned with forming perfect people as I was as a newer parent. When my teenagers were young, I was so concerned with "the right method," and how to 'discipline.' Not to say that the formation of children isn't a huge responsibility; it's just that, as the Bible says, "love covers a multitude of sins." Somehow teaching 'rightness' so easily becomes criticism and a lack of charity. To me this is such a sadness, because we only have our children's best interest at heart, yet the message we are sending them is one of condemnation rather than love.
Thank God for His mercy and allowing us to start fresh at any moment. Love,Love,Love my children...What is the loving thing to do? Sometimes the loving thing may be the hard thing- like helping a child break a bad habit, or giving a consequence for a poor choice. Sometimes the loving thing is an easy outpouring of love: a hug, a smile, a word of encouragement, a laugh shared together.
It IS possible to stop yelling at your children. I know this, because when my older children were young, I 'vented' much more often! (Poor older kids!) Not to say I never get upset anymore, but I have worked very hard and with God's grace have become a much calmer parent.
Maybe this would be a good topic to discuss in the comment section. We'll see where the interest goes!!
Any seasoned mothers, I would love your thoughts on parenting. What is the top piece of advice you would give to a young mother? Teachers...even women who have no children of their own, but are mothers to the countless children they have taught or loved...please share your advice, too!!!