Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning to be a consultant.


I just wanna go on record saying that I feel real sorry for first born children all over the world.
They're our guinea pigs, and everything we learn, we learn on them.

Our babies need us for everything from the very moment we meet them.
We help them learn how to eat and sleep on a schedule.
We teach them to share with their friends and to get what they get without pitching a fit.
We take them to story time to cultivate a love of books and if we're honest, to teach them how to sit quietly.
We recite the ABC's and 123's until they know them from heart.
They learn the sounds that each letter makes and before we know, they're reading.
We tell them when to eat their meals and when they get a snack.
We teach them how to tie their shoes, ride their bikes without training wheels, and swing all by themselves.
We keep their closets and drawers full of the things they need...clothes, underwear and socks.
We remind them over and over and over to brush their teeth, make their beds and clean their rooms.
We go over their multiplication facts unit they know them in their sleep.
We sing the timeline from creation to modern America until we just about turn blue.

We thoroughly accomplish being managers extraordinaire with our kids for at least a decade of their lives.
And then, our oldest children turn ohhhhhhhh........around twelve.

They start feeling like we're babysitting them if we give them too many reminders in a day.
They want to make some of their own decisions about what they wear.
There's just one kind of jean that will work.  You can't go shopping anymore without them.
They decide their socks need to look and feel a very certain way.
In fact, their favorite pair of socks is more expensive than a whole pack of socks you buy for yourself.
They want to do all of their homework without you.  
They prefer (beg) you not to yell their name during their basketball games.
And, they'll hug you all day long in the privacy of your own home, but PDA is fiercely prohibited.
They used to jump in the car and tell you more details than you ever wanted to know,
but now you have to find just the right time to pull a little information out.


We know they still need us.
It shows up in tiny ways like when they ask us to rub their backs at bedtime.
Or when they tell us we can flash Latin vocabulary cards at them, if we really want to.
Or when they suggest just the two of us go to a movie or grab fro-yo together.

They need us.  It just begins to look a little different.
This season requires us to take off our manager hats and put on our consultant hats.
We have to be willing to let them figure some things out on their own.
We can't always fly down and rescue them right before they hit the ground, so to speak.
We can give warnings along the way.  We can ask them if they'd like our advice.
But, we can't treat them like the dependent babies and toddlers they once were.

It does something to our kids when they know that we trust them and believe in them and are rooting for them.
It builds their confidence when we let them make a few decisions.
They learn how to make decisions when they have to suffer a few natural consequences from wrong choices.
We start to see them learn and grow and develop into the people God created them to be.
It's beautiful, if we'll let it be.
And, these few short years that they are teenagers will go by in the blink of an eye.

I'm convinced more and more that our kids grow us up.
They show us who we really are and how much we need God.
They teach us how to need Him more than we need to be needed by them.
I am learning more in this season of parenting than I have ever learned.
I am so, so, so thankful for what it's showing me about myself that I need to surrender to the Lord.


{thankful for}
587. Luke, my first born, who is stepping up the plate so well.
588. God, who is gracious enough to use my mistakes in parenting.
589. Andy, who is such an amazing example to our children.
590. Friends who encourage me in the journey to love deeply because it covers a multitude.
591. Peace that comes with knowing that God is good and in control and with us.



15 comments:

  1. I needed this lovely reminder of what we are called for in this season of parenting. Thanks friend.

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  2. you guys are awesome parents!!!
    i just love your entire family!!

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  3. as much as i would love to cocoon them for life, seeing them grow, learn and love is such a gift to us and to the world. have a great day and a wonderful thanksgiving.

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  4. Beautifully written and so true. I love how you said it does something to our kids when they know that we trust them and believe in them and are rooting for them as they make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. This has been revolutionary for me to see as I'm learning to let go. It's a daily process, isn't it? Love you all!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this. It is so true and a great reminder for me with my 13 and 11 year old children.

    Christie

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  6. You share this so well, Girl. (Can you hear my knees knocking???)

    xo

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  7. I love your insights in this post. My daughter calls herself "the first pancake" - you know, when you are making pancakes and the first one is usually the tester to see if the pan is hot enough, etc. haha Happy Thanksgiving!

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  8. Thank you so much for this. This is exactly what I needed to hear today.

    I loved these lines: "I'm convinced more and more that our kids grow us up.
    They show us who we really are and how much we need God.
    They teach us how to need Him more than we need to be needed by them."

    Thank you!

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  9. so so so true.
    i just posted something similar to this about my thirTEEN year old daughter. GASP!
    xoxo

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  10. this was beautifully written! I love it :)

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  11. 12 is a breath away for my oldest, and we can feel it already. So much change in so little time. A huge amen to the ways our kids teach us how much we need God. I need Him more and more each day! Happy Thanksgiving to you, sweet friend.

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  12. before i even clicked on your link this morning, i was sitting here, with coffee cup in hand, praying to God, please please show me the way with these boys. Sometimes i wonder if i'm getting through. Somewhat difficult when their stepdad and i have them praying every other week, and on our non-weeks, they're at their dad who mocks my faith, and tells them God is the wizard behind the curtain. But i press on. And praying for guidance. I so needed this. Thanks Tara. God Bless.

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  13. Oh my word. I cried through your whole post! My oldest (Grace) turns 13 in January. You hit the nail on the head with EVERYTHING you said. Parenting is the hardest job I've ever had. And Grace is a good girl. It throws me sometimes when I look at her, wondering if I acted that way at her age. I have another one coming right up behind her. My Evan will be 12 in March. Time does fly. I sometimes think maybe when they were little and I made all their decisions, that was so much easier, but they grow into such fun ages. THANK YOU for reminding me I'm not alone. God has helped SO MUCH during their lives.

    Thank you.

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  14. Oh Girl, you spoke my heart.... wow! My oldest "baby" boy is turning 18 next month & every word you wrote is spot on.

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  15. Thanks for this! Although my oldest is only 10 I see him changing right before my eyes. I always thought it would get easier, I so appreciate this!
    Happy Thanksgiving
    XO
    Kristin

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