So where do I start? Perhaps with the fact that my firstborn son is three months shy of turning three.
My darling boy. As you can see, he wanted to paint his face more than the paper!
On to a True Confession for today.
New Mom that I still am, I battle myself every single day with fearing that I'm not teaching Gabriel enough. I struggle with worrying that I'm not "doing enough at home" to give him a good start when he eventually starts his formal education. Many of Gabriel's peers seem more "advanced" in learning than he is. I fight the urge to cringe inside when one of his little friends comes over to play and I notice with despair that the child starts to sort Legos by color (Gabe doesn't seem interested in colors yet). Or when another little friend puts a complicated puzzle together (Gabe doesn't do many puzzles yet). Or when another friend wants to sit and be read to for 30 minutes (Gabe has a 15-minute max attention span for books, and they usually have to be books about airplanes or cars).
I go to friends' houses and worry that I should own the same mounds of educational toys and stacks of Montessori books.
I do know the Truth--that these things I have worried about truly don't matter right now. I know, I know..."He's NOT-EVEN-THREE!"
Thanks for the reminder. :)
Speaking of reminders, I want to share a powerful reminder of the Truth that I came across a few weeks ago in a blog post on Matthew Warner's Fallible Blogma.
Beyond the truth that I shouldn't be comparing Gabriel to other kids his age, or worrying about him being "behind for life" in school because I didn't get him to master colors and counting to 1000 by age 2 1/2, the Truth is that my son's heart, character, and soul should be my top priorities, and I am his most important teacher.
When my kids are grown, it won’t really matter if they got an A or a B in 7th grade history. It won’t really even matter much if they’ve made a lot of money or been “successful” according to the world. What will matter much more is this:
- Are they humble – not that they think less of themselves, but that they think of themselves less.
- Do they know how to be loved – are they humble and secure enough to be vulnerable.
- Are they at peace – which means knowing who they are.
- Are they filled with joy – because they live with a hope that transcends this short life.
- Do they know they are small – that the world is not about them.
- Do they know they are giants – that, to somebody, they mean the whole world.
- Are they adventurous – willing to embrace a faith that will take them beyond theprison of their own limits.
- Are they imaginative – able to see that the best parts of life cannot be measured or touched.
- Do they embrace the moment – knowing that the present moment is the onlymoment they’ll ever have.
- Are they virtuous - aspiring to the best parts of their nature.
- Do they know how to give – because to give of yourself is the only way to find yourself.
- Do they know how to love – because this is what they were made to do (and because I’ve shown them by loving them every day unconditionally and by introducing them to a God who loves them perfectly).This is what I’d like my kids to learn. This is what I’d like them to “want to be when they grow up.” Everything else with the classes and the homework and the tests is all bonus.
You can earn a college degree without learning a single one of these things – and these are far more important life lessons. But, ultimately, if my kids don’t learn them, it’s nobody’s fault but mine.This post was such a great reminder to me that what I am doing and what I can do right now is what my kids need most of all. :0)
I am the most important teacher my kids will ever have.
In teaching them obedience.
In taking them to mass.
In teaching them how to wrestle.
In teaching them manners.
In praying often as a family, and in praying throughout the day.
In teaching them to have a good work ethic.
In teaching them how to live in close quarters with others.
In teaching them about their sexuality.
In showing them how to make and handle money.
In teaching them about Christ.
In living out a strong, faithful, affectionate, fruitful and joy-filled marriage.
In teaching my children virtue by letting them see parents who model patience, humility, generosity, cheerfulness, compassion, joyfulness, faithfulness, kindness, charity, love, peace, selflessness and self-control.
When it comes down to it, my kids are going to learn their colors, and how to count to 100, and how to solve quadratic equations, and what happens when you add baking soda to vinegar. That's not the stuff I should be worried about.
I need to remember that my focus should be on matters of the heart, of character, and of my children's souls.
In that regard, I think my heart and my home are off to a good start.