I had to give a speech a few weeks back.
It was about parenting, and because I had no clue what the heck to say, I pulled out my trusty "parenting" file I started compiling the day Max emerged into the world (a.k.a. the day I was finally bequeathed my much anticipated, longed for title of "mother.")
I loved going through that file.
As I sifted through all the weathered, torn-out articles from magazines, worksheets from classes, ideas scribbled here and there I got this overwhelming feeling of gratitude for what I get to do: Mother my children.
It made me thankful not just for the mushy-gushy stuff I talk about like watching their eyelashes rest on their cheeks as they sleep each night or how my heart wants to burst out of me when I see them being kind to each other, but it made me think about the power that I have as a mother to make a difference in the lives of children. Five of them to be exact.
It is exhilarating to think about.
And very daunting as well.
I can really mess things up if I'm not careful. Or I can choose to work and read and pray my guts out that Dave and I can make the right decisions and parent in the right way for each of our unique children.
It made me thankful for the examples and writings of others that have helped me find some direction in this tricky thing called parenting.
And it made me thankful for Parenting Magazine (man alive there are a whole slew of good ideas in there).
These are the chicken-scratch notes I scrawled out as I went through the ideas enclosed in that folder:
--love notes to family members
--museum -- have kids sketch there and love art
--avoid lavish praise
--whatever you take note of, you get more of (beware of giving negative behavior any attention)
--Dave and I are the "King & Queen" -- teach respect
--tell stories about childhood
--put list of "money jobs" in clear view
--"Moral development is to move from 'self' to 'others'...your children will not grow up when they can take care of themselves, but rather when they can take care of others-- and want to."
--get to know jr. high and high school teachers
--service websites: heifer.org, boxproject.org, worldvision.org
--money--help kids buy stock in fav. company
--start family savings accounts with interest
Man alive, I've got a long list to work on!
I came across our old "Family Rules" in that folder too.
It made me miss how simple life used to be back then...