I think there is a lot to be said about growing along with your children. I was 21 when we had our firstborn son, Julian. I remember feeling like my head was going to explode with all the things I was taking in and learning each day. I was learning about putting others before myself, to sacrifice. This was new, this selfless way of living. No longer was it just me or even just me and Scott. There was this being that was dependent on me, and I couldn’t let him down.
Our kids are growing at warp speed. Not only are they growing taller and such, they are growing emotionally and intellectually and socially. I see less of the littleness that they were and more of the bigness that is to come. They are thinking more. They are talking more. They are giving more.
This growth does come at a cost though. There are many lessons they have to learn, battles along the way that they must fight.
To become less selfish and more giving, there has to be a spirit of generosity present. Julian may have to let Kalen (his younger brother) play with his treasured toys that he wasn’t playing with at the time, even though he wanted to be the only one to EVER play with them.
To become more kind with our words, we must not lash out in anger or in frustration. When Madelyn is squished in the back seat in the middle of her brothers and they are both in silly mode, she has to speak in a way that will get their attention without yelling. She has to stay calm and use kind words to help them behave themselves.
Though we have been parents for eleven years to 6 children, Scott and I still feel like we have so much more to learn. Parenting isn’t easy, especially considering that children learn as much or more from what we do rather than just what we say. Modeling love, compassion, generosity, kindness and grace is not easy. But it is our challenge each day. Too often we hope that our words, either in praise or correction, shape the hearts and minds of our children. The truth is, our children are learning about who they are, and who our family is, from the way we interact on a much larger scale. Words are only one component. There is a culture in our home that includes words and extends far beyond.
We have been talking a lot, Scott and me, about what kind of parents we are and want to be. We analyze what we are doing well and what we need to improve. We have the amazing opportunity to help narrate the lives of our children. We get one shot, and we want to do the absolute best we can. Each day is precious.
Yes, our children are growing up in every sense. But in so many ways, I am as well. Call it growing up, call it maturing, or call it gaining wisdom. Whatever, I don’t ever want to stop.