Monday, June 18, 2012

Wild Mint and Index Cards

Early in my parenting years, I read a quote that said something like "our children don't from us what we offer, they take from us what they need."  I can't remember where I read it or who said it, but I do remember that it offered me a bit of comfort because the task of preparing my little ones for life seemed daunting--how could I possibly teach them everything they needed to know?  Yet the quote reminded me that it wasn't a one-way street and that my children might get what they need in spite of me rather than because of me.   Well, as my kids grew older and got ready to strike out on their own, the fear set it again--Had I done my job? Were my kids ready to face the world?  Then I thought back to my own parents.  There were some basic things they taught me directly—like how to iron a pillowcase and how to balance a checkbook.  But most of the other stuff I picked up by watching them.  Big things like how to live out your faith and why it’s important to work hard.  And little things like how to recognize wild mint along a creek bed and why it’s a good idea to keep index cards on hand. Did I know everything I needed to know when I moved out of my parents' house?  Nope, of course not.  In fact, there are still plenty of things I don't know.  But I took what I needed from my parents and then I figured things out as I went along.  And I have to trust my kids to do the same.

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