Monday, September 17, 2012

Loving my Kids

I spent most of Saturday with my daughter Lindsay (15). We had a great time eating, walking, shopping, chatting.

It was purposeful, intentional girls time.

It made my heart so glad.

I decided I needed an intentional time with my son too.

Too often our family with one daughter and one son divides down gender lines - Allan and David do soccer, Lindsay and I do dance etc.

Recently Lindsay has been doing alot more with her Dad cycling, woodworking, cooking. (helps that Mom worked all Summer and Dad, who also worked but was more available and at home more often, was around to hang out with).

I notice my son David easily drifts off....with a book, with his iPod, on the computer, watching TV.  Maybe its that he is the only not first born in the house that he is so much better at disengaging..... while the rest of us keep busy.
Maybe he doesn't care to compete. 

Maybe he needs to be asked to join in.

So on Saturday afternoon I told him I wanted to cook or bake with him on Sunday.  He spent some time pouring over recipes and picked a recipe that required pastry.  While it is my desire to train up my son in every good thing (and I think we can all agree that pastry is a good thing) it is outside of my skill set.  So he looked again now with his mothers limitations in mind, and picked a crisp choc chip cookie from Martha Stewarts cookie cookbook.

So on Sunday he helped me make a shopping list, I did the shopping while he prepped the kitchen and then we baked.  I let him do most of the work, keeping an eye on the measuring and giving some tips as we went - passing on my limited kitchen wisdom - trying to screen out his sister's "suggestions" - trying to build his confidence in the kitchen.

And he made very good cookies for a week of lunches.

I read this on a blog today and it resonated with me.....all this trying to be a good Mom (hauling around working mother guilt) can be exhausting. 
I don't know about you, but I can feel overwhelmed at times with all the to-do's of parenting.  The list of what needs to be accomplished seems never ending.  "Don't lock the keys in the car."  "Pick up your dirty clothes."  "Don't leave dad's tools outside."  "Feed the cat."  "Take out the trash."  "Don't forget to put a new bag in the trash can."  "This is how you make a cursive g."  "Go read."  "Do your math."  "Do you have everything you need for school today?"  "Yes.  People really brush their teeth this often." "You're wearing two different socks."  "Your shirt is on backwards."  "For the five hundredth time - don't leave food in your back pack."  "It doesn't seem like you were being very kind to your brother." "Don't follow the crowd."  "Who cares what they think."  "You are beautiful and perfect just like you are."  "Don't make comments about someone's appearance."  "How do you think that made her feel?"  "You can't flush that."  "You can't put that in the microwave." "Money can make people do terrible things."  "Sometimes the only reason we can forgive is because we've been forgiven for so much."

Sure - it would be great if half of what I feel busy teaching our kids would make itself at home in their souls, but isn't what I want most for our kids is for them to walk away from this season at home knowing they are deeply loved. More than the lessons about life, and even more than the lessons about faith - shouldn't love be the banner over it all?

Doesn't love cover a multitude of mess-ups?  Won't love cover up all the lessons we forgot to teach and the ones we taught all wrong?  If love is the goal, then won't these days feel less like a constant countdown and more like an incredible, daily opportunity?
(Read the whole post here - especially if watch Parenthood on TV which I don't.)
Maybe instead of being so busy with my children all weekend I should have just hugged and cuddled and chilled and let them know how much they are loved?

I hope that, by some grace, they know that all I did with them this weekend is a pale pale reflection of my deep and abiding love for them both.


  1. Very deep... As a new father who has yet to experience the early years of a son growing up, I will keep this in mind and just hug them a bit more. Then again, I also believe in tough love... I'm so confused. Hahaha. I guess I'll know better when I come to this bridge.

  2. You will figure it out as you go.....I am sure you will be great!

  3. Your children reflect that that they are deeply loved by you and Allan and that they are secure in your love - moenie worrie nie!!