When my children grow up the life they tell of may be unbelievable to their contemporaries. We live very far from ordinary. Let me share a splendid example.
Last Wednesday I was asked to help with the desserts being served before the annual church business meeting. This sort of thing used to be common place for me when I worked at the church – before becoming a stay at home mom. Since my girls are now 4 & 6 and the foster children currently with me are 7 & 9, I agreed to help.
I announced to the children they would be taking part. A cheer ensued. They couldn’t wait for the day to arrive. A friend and I cut the squares and piled them on plates. The four children carefully marched to the foyer with the plates. I made the final round with them. There were concerns as little Elise* lifted a dish of fruit onto the table. I wasn’t worried. She performed the task beautifully. At the end, each child got to select one dessert (or fruit in Sloane*’s case since she can’t have wheat). That was the reward for their work. They were all deeply pleased with themselves.
There aren’t many kids around who can say they helped prepare the desserts for a meeting at church. Among other things my kids clear their dishes after meals, unload groceries, put away their laundry, vacuum, and tidy up their own toys. It’s not always done perfectly. That’s ok, I’m not a perfectionist. In the article 10 Common Mistakes Parents Make Today (Me Included), Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis says,
I think about the kind of adults I hope my children will be and work backward to ask, “What can I do today to foster that?”
I want my kids to know the joy of contributing to society. I want them to understand the reality that life is work. It takes effort and investment. So I involve them in whatever I can. And, even though they were so very cute walking out of the kitchen in a straight line with plates of goodies, I didn’t snap a picture. I probably should have. But I was busy making sure we kept to the schedule. Oh well, let’s add the lack of photos to the list of differences between my children and their contemporaries.