Friday, September 13, 2013
As They Grow
These days are good. Not perfect, but good. Homeschooling is something I love, but it isn't something that is easy. One of my favorite things about it is how it fosters close sibling relationships. One of the hard things is that those relationships are often the result of opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to learn how to get along. Bumping up along side one another, one of the biggest lessons we learn is simply how treat others. How to treat people different than us. Navigating relationships with siblings teaches so much. Socialization is alive and well here.
One thing I often say is, "If you can't figure out how to treat your sibling well, I can't trust that you know how to treat others well." It's really true, isn't it? That home is the nursery to learning how to treat others for the rest of our lives. These first relationships (and how we learn to resolve issues) set the tone for friendships and beyond. We're not just teaching our children to get along with each other. We are training them how to treat everyone they will come in contact with. Perhaps that is why Human Dignity is so high on my list of things I want them to grasp firmly before they leave home. It speaks to their relationships with friends and with those who aren't friends. It speaks to their relationships with the opposite sex and the respect and value necessary in those relationships. And it speaks to how they treat those who are different than they are, yet still worthy of respect and honor.
It can be daunting these days, as the questions change and my older children continue their march toward adolescence. Themes I am afraid to broach start cropping up. As they grow up, I swallow my fear down and realize that those lessons we've been teaching their whole lives - those first few tracks laid down - they build on one another. The conversations we had when they were two and three, they come back around. The themes we've been visiting and revisiting, year in and year out, about service, human dignity, humility and faith - those lessons just deepen. The conversations branch out, but share the same roots.
When I realize it, I feel better. These kids, they are good, smart, strong and courageous. They've been listening, paying attention. They know these things. So when the new questions crop up and I freeze, paralyzed and not sure how to proceed, I can remember that we've been here. The answers are still the same. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Everything comes down to that. As they grow, I start to see it - how those seeds planted from day one have taken root and are growing up, nice and strong. Well watered by our continued efforts and refusal to back down.
As they grow, I'm looking into the future - and seeing the people they are becoming. It is a beautiful thing.
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