Friday, July 24, 2009

He can do it...

My wife was in a minor car accident that has really given her some challenges with her back. This past Sunday, she was in so much pain that it was extremely hard for her to get out of bed. Well, I had to make a decision; let my oldest stay with her and help or bring both boys with me to church and let her rest. I wrestled with the decision for a bit because I don't want them to miss church. At the same time I did not want my wife to be in need and no one be there for her. I decided to have my oldest stay with her.

Before I left, I pulled him to the side and gave him very specific instructions. "Son, I want you to make sure that your play time is at a minimum and ensure that mommy is well taken care of. If she needs food, drinks, whatever, make sure she gets it." He said he was fine with that. Well, I take the youngest with me to church and choir rehearsal. After church, I returned home to see my beautiful wife looking a lot better. I asked her how she was doing and she tells me that she was fine. But her joy came from my ten year old son being such an incredible servant. She said he brought her the food she needed, the drinks, and whatever requests she wanted. She said he was so attentive to her needs that she just about wanted to cry.

He was growing up. He was maturing. A part of me was thinking that he was supposed to do these things. Another part of me was ridiculously proud of him. And then a small part of me was thinking, "Why does he not do that all the time?" I have to remember that it is a process. It is showing him daily how to serve and setting the example in the home. It was ironic, though- that same day at church, the sermon was about being a servant. Maybe my oldest had read about it in his Bible or seen me try to serve at home. Or maybe, just maybe, he had a secret microphone at church that he was listening to from home. Either way, he stepped up to the plate and I am so proud of him.

Let me know what type of things you are teaching your children to do. We have no off season in learning...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Train a child in the way he should go...

My boys have been going to a great summer camp for the last week and a half; they absolutely love it. My wife and I do too. It is an added bonus that a friend of ours teaches there as well as brings her kids there; we know them from church. It gives the kids the opportunity to keep abreast of their academic skills in the morning while having fun in the afternoon. They get fantastic field trips, great snacks, and lasting friendships.

Each beautiful morning I implore them to use godly wisdom and self-control as they go about their day making different decisions - kids they should and should not hang with, when to speak and not to speak, when to have fun and when to be serious, and the like. We use Bible scriptures and pray through these things- every morning. And I know my children, so I know this is needed. Today, I think those conversations were noticed.

At the end of the day, my son's teacher walks up to me and said, "I love your son! He is so well mannered and respectable. He's smart and he helps around in the classroom. He is a joy to have!" Wow! I felt proud, warmed, and humbled. This parenting thing does have rewards.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In the Name of Democracy

I took my entire family to a town hall meeting at Prince Georges Community College tonight. It was on health care, a major agenda being pursued by President Obama. Senator Cardin of MD was the main speaker. Of coarse, my boys, who are 10 and 5, could really have cared less about the cost of health care. Yet, they were rather respectful of the meeting. There were hundreds of people there, all waiting patiently to voice their concerns to the senator. He had done these before, but not my young boys. It was their first time. As a matter of fact, it was mine as well. I was so proud of them.

I thought it to be very important for them to be able to experience this. Does this make them grow faster, or mature them more? I am not sure. But I do know that having an experience of any kind can always bring new perspectives.

We left a little after the open questioning began; my youngest was beginning to get antsy. Yet as we were walking out, I explained to them that they saw a part of democracy in action, a morsel of how laws and changes are made in our government. I told that them that voicing their opinions at these types of events helps our leaders know what the people want and need. My son's simple response to let me know that he understood all of this was, "Cool!"