Saturday, July 27, 2013

Revisiting Childhood While Being the Parent

Raising children is a two way education...we teach our children how to prepare for life, while they teach us what life is really about.

When I was a child, I was not the smartest girl in my class, I was hardly the most athletic, not the best singer in chorus, but, I was somewhat artistic early on.  Actually when I was six, my chalk drawing was honored by being displayed in the Superintendent's office for a whole month!  Big deal for this six year old :-) That talent never did go any further, but, to this day I would love to learn more about art!

When we are small the world is ours for the taking.  Anything and everything is a possibility to a wide eyed and excited child.  Many days while we are homeschooling my boys make their way off on numerous rabbit trails into unexplored and usually very interesting territory that I had no intention of covering for that day.  Those are usually the *best* days we have.  You know, those unplanned, fun-filled anything goes kind of day!

"Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother."
~Moorish Proverb

I try my best to encourage those types of days...filled with love and laughter and excitement to explore the world.  Childhood is much too short these days and a child's enthusiasm is often squelched by an off hand comment from a parent, a teasing friend or sibling or a well meaning, albeit all too critical teacher!

A few years ago my boys decided they wanted to be in Christmas choir.  My oldest was SO excited about it and learned all of the songs, word for word by heart.  At the age of nine he had a very difficult time keeping his singing in the right tune and not being flat. I worked with him quite a bit, but, he was flat as flat can be.  Although his sound was not quite up to par, his enthusiasm and love for the singing and for baby Jesus, well made up for any funny sounds that may have come from his mouth that year {and the following}.  I am proud to say that on the third year of choir his sweet little voice blossomed and he sang a beautiful solo of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" that made me so proud.

"Men are what their mothers made them."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My boys go out there everyday confronting new challenges as they explore the world around them and how to fit in and make their way about God's great creation.  Many times I know that as parents we tend to get lulled into a comfort zone that alot of times it is hard to find our way out of.  I find myself many days just tired at the thought of all there is to do on a normal day, make meals for many different people, try to keep the clutter at bay while cleaning the clothes, dishes and floors...never mind the *thought* of stepping out of my box to *try* something new!

 "Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man."
 ~Rabindranath Tagore

This is where these little blessings come in...
They encourage me with love and laughter to just *try* something I most likely would have never dreamed of doing if I was not someone's Mom.
These days I find myself dancing around the kitchen with little people while making dinner, playing pirates snuggled up under the covers, making the coolest forts out of sofa cushions, having picnics on the living room floor on red checkered tablecloths and starting art lessons with them as well.  I sing and dance like the carefree little girl years gone by and love it when it happens.  Nobody chooses me close to last being on their sports teams {I'm tall and that counts when you are playing with kids!} Nobody criticizes the way I sing, dance, paint or attempt to play the piano.  They love, admire and encourage me...just the same way that I *try* to love, admire and encourage them.

My oldest has been taking piano lessons for four years now and really wanted to teach me how to play the piano when he first began to play.  I must admit to not encouraging his talent as much as I should have.  He is a gifted pianist and the first year was a dream!  All he wanted to do was play the piano every day.  As time went by, he had new things that were exciting to him and the piano became more something that we required him to do and when he did he is amazing.  If I had persisted early on he would be further than he is now, but, of course parenting is on the job training and I am trying more now to be consistent with his diligence in this area.  I have decided that this fall I am going to join him and my other two sons taking piano lessons.  I have always wanted to, but, never did since it would take up more time that I usually just don't have.  I am really excited about it and  just the idea of learning the piano in my 40's is wonderful :-)  Hopefully we will inspire each other.  Again this is something I would have never dreamed of doing if I was not someone's Momma.

"A mother's love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking, it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking"
~Helen Rice


  1. Ann-Marie, this is so beautiful. It is a confirmation for me in child led learning. Don't be hard on yourself about not starting earlier. It is quite possible that he might have gone the other way about it. Blessings, Michelle

  2. Thank you so much, Michelle! I am very glad that you enjoyed it :-)