This post was inspired a year ago by my friend Kirsta. And it's been running around my head since. Because every parent knows the golden caveat of raising children is figuring out what stellar qualities your offspring can teach you - aside from patience.
Here's my list...
Here's my list...
OUR BIG GUY
Greg works with the scouts in our church and they organize campouts every month. He and his leaders have one firm rule with the boys - if you want a fire, you provide the fuel along with the matches/lighter. Greg and his leaders hate the lingering, smoky smell on their clothes and gear. And in all the 5+ years Greg has been in this position, not one scout has had the foresight or the ingenuity to organize a fire.
Enter my oldest son.
He's the only scout who brings a decked out first aid kit, tested compass, Swiss-army knife and so much gear hanging off his belt he would shame MacGyver. The picture above does him justice. He'll cover great distances - OF HIS OWN FREE WILL - to accomplish whatever project he's working on. In this case it was the valued firewood that no other scout cared to uncover.
His resourceful mind is inspiring. Creativity, gumption and delightful inventiveness.
Sometimes I want to package him up in our family survival kit and keep him on the shelf. Because we'll survive as long he's in our midst.
My second offspring is my rock of justice.
My moral compass.
He constantly reminds me to stay on the straight and narrow path of obedience.
Never before have I encountered a soul who sees the world so clearly between right and wrong. Black and white. If unfairness ever happens to cross his path, justice must be swiftly and resolutely dispensed. He does have an abundance of mercy and he's more than happy to see compassion played out - but in the end, truth must always triumph.
One of my favorite past times is presenting my son with stories where there is no moral absolute. It's great fun to watch the wheels go momentarily out of sync in his brain. And yet his conclusions always impress me with their creative insight.
OUR PRETTY GIRL
My daughter exhibits almost zero inhibitions - in the best sense of the word.
This is totally opposite of her mother.
I'd rethink and agonize over every word coming out of my mouth and movement of limb.
In this respect, she teaches me confidence. She teaches me not to be afraid. She teaches me there is no shame ridding off into the sunset, sashaying hips with elaborate flair while burping a random song in a sibling's face. She doesn't worry about how it looks, what's appropriate or how a "girl" should act - even though she so desperately, whole-heartedly adores all things pink, purple and "girly".
My daughter lives her life as though she has never experienced a single moment of self doubt. Wouldn't it be nice to have that?
Bubbs is our saving grace. Our soft corner. Our sweet voice at the end of our hectic day.
Bubbs is easy to learn from because he simply loves us. Of all my children, Bubbs has no qualms saying, "I love you" - and he'll tell you oftentimes when you need it most.
His prayers are never about him, always about his siblings and their needs. He loves his family without any restrictions or prejudice. He truly wants you to know how much you mean to him.
We could all use more of that behavior towards others.