Born @ 27 weeks
2lbs 7oz

Friday, March 14, 2014

Teach the Children

Last month, Park Hill United Methodist Church did a sermon on 'Teach the Children'.

It spoke to me on a number of levels, but it posed an important question that has stayed with me. 

If we could encourage our children to be anything, what would that be?
What are our family rules and values?

I began scribbling feverishly on my bulletin of all the dreams I had for our children and what I hoped most to instill:

Be Kind.

Be Curious.
Be Accountable.
Be Adventurous.
Be Yourself.
Have Integrity.
Be Honest.
Be Faithful.
Be Humble.

As the sermon concluded, the minister encouraged us to expose our children to God and scripture in our homes. "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates". - Deuteronomy 6:9 

Live your faith out loud.

Soon after hearing this sermon, I found a small, broken and discarded chalkboard that now hangs beside our front door. This is a space where we all pause to take off our boots, dig for our gloves and hang up our coats. It also is the last stop before we head out into the rest of the world. 

I have been writing simple scripture or encouraging words that (shockingly), our boys (at least Nash) have shown some interest in. So much so, that Nash insisted that he erase 'Be Kind' one day and instead wrote (with assistance):
No Pushin. 
No Hiting. 

I didn't quite think it was a place for 'rules' but if he is interested... I'm going with it.

I don't know if it is timing or coincidence, but a few weeks later, Nash began asking about one homeless man that we see driving to school every day. When I did my best to explain that this man did not have a home, he insisted that we invite him to stay in our guest room. (Nash thought it would be ideal if this man and Nana share our guest room, when she comes to visit). :)

Instead, Nash settled for making this man his favorite sandwich. From time to time, on our way to school,  we will roll down the window and deliver a freshly made PB & J to the man on the street corner (as well as, some candy on Valentine's Day).

These are moments that make a Mom and Dad proud. When you see your child's heart and mind grow to be conscientious of others.

We have a new friend in Colorado. When the boys first started school, I spotted this Mom, carrying her new baby in the bucket, as her 3 year old dragged her up the front steps of our school one morning. It was the exposed wire that snuck out from under the blanket covering her baby that caught my eye. I traced it knowingly up her arm to the oxygen tank, hanging on this Mom's side. 

I knew instantly we were going to be friends.

Her six month old, (we'll call him, "Sweet P") required a procedure and short hospital stay for his heart and this week needed a second surgery.

Coincidentally, I have kept Shaw out of school this week, as he was sick again. We have been doing our best to be still (Tell that to the steroids he is on that make anyone jittery, busy and unstoppable!) 

This week, we have done anything that didn't require a lot of energy.

We built a terrarium (of course selecting the pebbles without running was like skiing through a revolving door).
Thank you Nancy Johnson, Nash's 1st Preschool Teacher and dear friend for the ray of sunshine.
We found its perfect home in our terrarium.

We have read and acted out every story.
Recreating 'Where the Wild Things Are' (Note: pink tiara for Max's crown - tee hee)

We have cooked and baked and created in the kitchen...  Be forewarned of anything our boys make. They were given two separate bowls and all the ingredients to make Camping Mix. When I went to consolidate both bowls, this is what I found in each of them (You can't make this stuff up, people).

Nash's mix
Shaw's mix. (That is a rock. Delicious).

We have constructed...

Architect Nash and his creation, complete with little brother barricade to prevent inevitable destruction.

We have played dress up...

Even a little sidewalk chalk...

You name it. If it is something to be done, while using the least amount of oxygen as possible, we have done it. 

Yesterday, the boys and I were making Shamrocks. They were vigorously working on their masterpiece, when I casually asked them who their shamrocks were for. Ordinarily, they will blurt out a grandparent of their choice or a friend. It is usually the same handful of names. But Shaw was very clear and definitive who his drawing was for. Shaw replied, "My Shamrock is for Sweet P's Mom."

I had to get him to repeat it. I was sure I misunderstood.

Again and more matter-of-factly, "This is for Sweet P's Mom."

Let me give you a few things to consider:
1) This is the day this baby went into the hospital for his surgery
2) I have only communicated with this Mom via email/text, so Shaw could not have heard me in conversation.
3) I would be shocked if Shaw knew this baby's name (his older sister, of course, but there is very little interest in babies at this time).

Is this a culmination of the sermon, Nash's serving and our recent chalkboard talks? Is it mere coincidence? Or is it a Godwink?

You decide. 
Personally, I think life is too hard to always say special things are only a coincidence. 
I trust in the magic and the faith. It is what carries me through the hard times. 

Live your faith out loud.

Yesterday, I gave Nash his allowance ($.25/week - or whatever change I can find at the time) for making his bed and helping around the house. I asked him what he was saving his money for and he told me, "Bee Mighty". 

1 comment:

Beth Meyer said...

You are amazing and so inspiring. Those kids are so lucky to have you as their mom!