Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pasta on Parenting #2

Growing, growing, growing. Do they ever stop growing? I’m not talking about buying new shoes every few months, or wearing high waters. What I mean is maturing – emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It’s a beautiful experience.

I recently had a wonderful time shopping with my little girl. Yes, she is picky (no relation to her mother!), but she’s also discerning. Yes, I said discerning. She knows how to look for clothing that is appropriate for a 7 year old little girl to wear. When she sees something that’s too short or too low cut, she just skips that rack. She looks for clothes that are comfortable and cute, but her style. I feel lucky. We’ll see if it lasts until she’s 16 – I’m sure hoping so!

A few weeks ago, the Waffle took Hayden to work with him one day. He was tearing a chimney down and knew that there would be bricks to haul. The perfect job for an eager eight year old. We feel that teaching a good work ethic is so important. Hayden didn’t disappoint. He worked hard all day alongside his dad. At the end of the day, he’d earned some money, but more importantly, he earned the privilege of working hard with his hands. He knows what it feels like to be hot, sweaty and tired – not because you played, but because you worked!

Considering others before yourself is also something we’re trying to instill. My favorite recent example happened just a few days ago. Hayden has started fall baseball and we took him to his first practice. Mallory met some new friends (other little sisters of the players on the team). One little girl wanted to go play somewhere else – a bit away from the ball field. Mallory asked if she could go along, and I told her that she could. However, there were two other little girls who were not allowed by their parents to go. The first little girl said to Mallory, “I guess it’s just you and me then!” And Mallory, out of consideration for others, said, “No, we can’t leave our new friends. Let’s stay and play together.” What pride, what joy, what love I had for her in that moment. She’s learning to be a good friend to others – thinking about how they would feel if the two of them were left behind. Way to go, sis!

I guess this all boils down to what a great experience I’m having right now. The kids are at a great age to really see the progress we’re making with them. Progress doesn’t come easily, and I’m still aggravated by some of their habits I haven’t been able to correct yet, but we’re getting there. I know it will come sooner or later, because I know they are listening.
Parenting is awesome!

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