When Michael and I moved into our current home 3 years ago, we immediately fell in love with the enormous kitchen island. As soon as we saw it, we both knew it was going to be the perfect spot to let our children walk all over and play. A level backyard or safe neighborhood was low on the list of requirements as long as there was a kitchen counter on which our children could climb. 😉
What’s funny about raising children is that any of your expectations and ideas of what your life will look like…are completely hogwash. “This will be the play room and the toys will only stay in this room.” “My child will NEVER sleep in my bed.” We won’t let our daughter affect our social life. We will just bring the baby with us and she will adapt.” “My toddler will not be glued to an iPad at a restaurant. She will learn to socialize.” “I will not let myself ‘go’ and become a slob mom and wear snotty shirts with food crust on my pants where the kid wiped her face.”
How’s that going for ya? What I’ve learned is that being a parent means I’m not IN CONTROL of every outcome, I am only IN CHARGE. I can guide, I can instruct, I can pray, I can love, I can discipline, and I can whip their butts when they’ve lost their ever-loving minds. However, not every single thing needs to be controlled by me. I let them bring their dinosaurs into the shower. I allow them to crawl in bed at 3 am. I give my toddler my phone at Longhorns to respect the other patrons’ dinner experience. I let my child wipe her nose on my shirt. AND I LET THEM MAKE BREAKFAST ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER WITH DADDY. Because those are the little things. Who cares….let it go.
Here’s what I do care about concerning my girls: Loving them and making sure they know it. Teaching them who created them and how much more HE loves them than I ever could. Loving each other and being kind. Respecting their father and me. Saying thank you. Learning manners. Practicing self-control. Giving is better than receiving. Using words to lift each other up. Working hard and being responsible for what they’ve been given. Being a good friend. And that the world doesn’t revolve around them.
While we let them enjoy sitting on the counter to make breakfast…they don’t get down until they clean up their mess.
Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Deuteronomy 11:18-191 “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.…”