Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
One of the best experiences in parenting is what you learn from your children. Yes, your focus should always be on teaching them. Even when they are adults, it is important to keep the lessons coming even though they take on a more subtle form. It was surprising to me to see what I learned from my sons. I always thought I was a pretty tolerant woman with a great ability to look past people’s faults to find the good qualities in them. Lord knows I have had ample opportunities to practice this over the years. Raising children makes you really come to terms with who you think you are and what you need to work on. Here are a few things I have learned from my guys:
Make forgiveness a habit. Men have a great propensity for getting over things and moving on. Women, not so much. When my guys were coming up, garbage detail was on their chore list. Our trash company picks up once a week, but several times a week the trash needed to go out. I have come to find out that little men don’t care how full the trash bin gets. They are masters of logistical expertise and don’t see the need to move trash if you will have to do it later. So no matter how many bulky boxes or jugs were on the floor near the bin, the urgency to put the trash out just never hit them. Mom on the other hand, trying to keep the house clean, found this to be a social experiment. How long are they going to let the trash overflow before someone thinks to take it out?
Mom: “Take the trash out, please. Fellas:” In unison, “We will ma.” Now here is a stark difference between the male and female species. “We will ma” in the male thinking means we heard you and intend to take the trash out, it just may not be as quickly as you would like. In my mind someone had better be moving within the next five seconds. At the end of the day, I didn’t want the trash incident to disrupt the house, so many times I would be seething, waiting to see exactly how long it would take for someone to comply. Times that I couldn’t take it anymore and the hairs started to stand on end, someone would jump up, take it out and then continue doing what they were doing. Me, on the other hand, still seething, smoke coming out of my ears, still on my tirade about this is my house and I pay the bills around here. Someone better move when I say move. The guys were back doing whatever made them happy and I am sitting there harboring unforgiveness…over trash. REALLY? The funniest part is with those little cherub faces they would look at me like, the trash is out now, what could you possibly still be anger about. Practice forgiveness.
Humility – It’s okay to ask for help. Moms like to position their strength as one of their favorite attributes. Strong women in our society are heralded much more than damsels in distress. Somehow we have made needing help a weakness. We need to be realistic about what we can do well, and what someone else can do better. When my guys started driving, one of their rites of passage was learning to change their car tires from a trusted neighbor Mr. L. I knew how to do it, but I knew it would mean so much more to them to learn it from a man. Each time they returned from their lesson they said Mom, I really feel like a man! The truth is, male children need to learn certain things from male adults. Practice humility.
Check in later on this week to read Part II.