I've had a few thoughts running around inside my head for a few weeks now and oh, how they resonated with this post by Ann Voskamp. I've mentioned here before that I'm entering a new phase of parenting. My oldest just turned 8 in January. Being a parent just feels different now. I thought I'd have it down by now (ha ha). Don't worry, I don't.
There are so many things I want to teach them and so many things I want to do with them. One thing I found myself doing when they were younger was to tell myself, "Don't worry, Jen, they're still young. You'll get to that." Did you ever do that in the toddler years and then suddenly find yourself with school-aged children? We still haven't gotten to some of those things.
So here are a few of the thoughts that have been swimming through my head...
...only one of your kids can ride a bike without training wheels...one!
...none of your kids can tie their own shoes...none!
...none of your kids are signed up for music lessons...none!
...your kids should be better swimmers by now.
Three weeks ago as I was driving home from the grocery store, I realized part of the problem. God is so good to give wisdom when we ask. He always comes through (James 1:5). As far as music lessons go, I really, really want my kids to have them. Why? Because I quit them. It's as simple as that, and it might seem reasonable enough, but here's what I discovered about myself...I think I want to raise my kids to be better versions of me. I want to redeem some of my faults and my shortcomings by raising children that make better choices than I did. I'm finding that this puts an awful lot of pressure on a child--learn to do this because mommy can't. Of course I would never say that to my children. But I don't want to live like I'm saying it. Saying it without my words.
My kids are precious. They're individuals. They're not me.
The only One I want them to strive to be like is Jesus.