As the pictures scrolled by and the memories flooded in, the amount of different hairstyles was enough to make your eyes spin. Three children with three different views of the world and among other things hair styles. When the girls were younger the only person that could get them to sit still long enough to do their hair in a cute hairstyle was their grandma. They had so many choices of hair ties and barrettes, and they had the cute hair that curled at the ends on it’s own accord, or for my middle child had ringlets falling around her face. My son had short hair most of the time unless we let it grow longer than normal then my hubby took it into his own hands and some weird haircuts were done. We figured it will grow back so why not.
As the kids got older their styles changed as did the way they view the world around them. We raised them to “love their neighbor, as themselves”, and to love people like Christ loved people. The world taught them that life is tough, and so we try and hold onto the quirkiness of life by enjoying life to the best of our ability. Years ago my girls came up with the idea of a “end of the summer slumber party”. We would invite their friends over to the house, buy some pizza, set up water balloon fights, and supply enough snacks and candy to keep them going all night. This was put on for a few years with one of the years instead of water balloons it was a nerf war obstacle course. Over time that activity evolved into a “girls day out” and a “man’s day, do what you want” day.
As parents we often think that we are raising up our children, and we are, but we forget that as we are raising them, they are raising us. As a parent one of my main goals was to have my children grow up to be good people, with good work ethics, who want to enjoy the world around them. The life lessons that were used to teach them these things were shown to them so they could follow the examples. On the flip side, they showed me that jumping in puddles makes for large splashes. They showed me that when you find a big hill on a bike ride, you ride up to the top of it so that you can fly. They showed me that trying something new like a salad made from spinach, skittles, cucumbers, and red licorice made sound gross but it’s worth a try (side note, it was not worth the try….gross!). They also showed me that if I gave them room to grow they would sprout exponentially.
Parenting is not an easy task. Tunnel vision can happen. There are times when what you really want to do is stick you head in a hole and hope that the current crisis passes quickly. It’s in these moments that your kids will teach you resilience. They will teach you that talking to someone about what’s going on is helpful. It is also in these moments when you dig a little deeper, you open your eyes and you take a deep breath, and you redirect the situation for a short time. One day as I walked through the grocery store I saw a bag of those water balloons that have the attachment that makes filling them up faster and easier. I bought a couple of bags of them. I didn’t have a plan for when to use them, but it turns out I didn’t need to. My son one day saw them laying on my dresser and gave me this look. The rest of the family had all been doing their own things when my son and I decided they “needed” a distraction. Our first victim was one of his sisters. We had already filled the balloons so all we had to do was draw her out. By the time she was soaked we had gotten my other daughter, my hubby and even the dogs in on the war.
These will be the things that will be remembered. These will also be the things that helped us get through the tougher years of raising kids. Kids are being asked to grow up too quickly. They have more ways to have the world shoved into their faces than ever before. Proverbs 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” Hairstyles and even hair colors will change but they are not permanent. When we are raised to love others as we love ourselves, that sticks with us. When we are raised to work hard but give ourselves time to enjoy life that sticks with us. Life is always going to be tough, but if we train ourselves to look for the good, to find the joy in the simple we will see that the hard times are more manageable. Until next time:
You will teach them to fly, but they will not fly your flight. You will teach them to dream, but they will not dream your dream. You will teach them to live, but they will not live your life. Nevertheless, in every flight, in every life, in every dream, the print of the way you taught them will remain.Mother Theresa