Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting an Education

When I first held my little guy in my arms, 4 years ago, the last thing I was thinking of was where he would go to school and how he might learn. I was in love, and that was all that mattered at the time. I remember thinking that my new occupation--'rookie mom'--was going to be the ride of my life and I wanted to enjoy it for as long as possible. Now jump ahead to today: I have two active little ones and the quiet peace of that hospital room is but a memory now.We are doing the preschool thing, and when that is not in session, I find myself answering all kinds of curious questions. I've added to my resume teacher, full-time referee, macaroni chef, band-aid expert, laundry-lady, dishwasher--I mean "dish stacker", and the list is endless--as any parent knows!

This week, we've had an education in weather patterns. The tornado that almost touched down over our house, decided to go east and visit my husband's parents. Quite an intrusion, this storm was! No warning, just the sound of wind, and then glass and debris everywhere, within a matter of minutes. We are thankful Grandma Suzie was not hurt and that the damage is able to be fixed. Adrian now understands what tornadoes are. He's been talking about it a lot since Wednesday, when it hit. Some of my favorite questions and remarks: "Mommy, do tornadoes live in the woods? Do they have sharp teeth?...Are they boys or girls?...Mommy, Grandpa Jim shot that tornado and now it's dead, lying in the ditch!...Mommy, that tornado is naughty--him needs to go back into the clouds!"

Want to hear something funny? By no intentions of our own, we've had to start educating our kids about gender differences. Those of you who have boys and girls know what I mean. They start asking questions, even at ages 2 and 4 years old. You can't convince me that little kids don't know that boys and girls are different, even from outward observations. In my world, there are many questions about which animated characters are boys, and which are girls. They want to know. Then we have to go one step further by defining which parts these cartoons have! It gets even better: we are out in public and once again, the conversation surfaces. "Mommy, that boy has a______! That girl has a butt and a _______!" Reminds me of the movie, 'Kindergarten Cop'--and here I am, living it out! I had to forewarn my relatives, over the Independence holiday, that they may be told which parts they have and why. It is torturing for me to keep a straight face in front of them and to keep from blushing when in the presence of strangers! Oh please, please, when will this end? I have to take it before God and figure out how to address this in healthy, non-shameful way. We are gradually learning how to do this...'what is and should be private is not to be discussed, in public'. That is my mantra to these curious monkeys I love and adore : )

It's a high calling, this parenting job. Quite often, I find myself asking God for wisdom to raise these little ones up. I have no shame in praying this with them, as we tuck them in at night. They need to know that I don't have all the answers and that I often make mistakes. It is humbling, and in a way, we're already teaching them through this simple act of faith. I struggle with what education choice will be best for our kids. For now, we are a part of the public school system and have had many benefits with our son, regarding his developmental needs. He is doing so well and I feel comfortable with his education team. Each year, God will give us the wisdom to know what to really, I don't have to worry about it.

I am thankful that we serve a big God who is sovereign over every circumstance. Yes, He is even in control of my children's "curious questions and body awareness"! One of the hardest things I've begun to realize, about parenting, is the reality that our kids(like their parents)will have experiences that are painful--and despite our best intentions, we can't prevent every bad thing from happening to them. We have to trust God, the Father and let Him take care of the things we have little or no control over. He is the author and finisher of our faith(Heb.12:1-2)...and He continues to write the story of our lives.