I have been doing a lot of contemplating lately. I think because I am digging deep to try and figure out why Caroline is so upset at Pre-K, I am pondering life more than I normally do. I have always wanted my kids to feel like they could talk to me about anything. I have wanted them to feel like they could bring their friends over and feel welcome in our home. The other day I looked up from my desk at work and realized that I had 8 kids in my room playing on the computers, laughing and having a good time. While the noise was deafening, I smiled to think that perhaps we are headed in the direction of that dream I have (and yes, I know, he is only 7-- I know he probably won't even like me when he is in high school, but right now I am dreamer and I prefer to think he will still do the same thing later in life).
I had a first this week. I took Caroline to cheerleading practice. Yes, you heard me correctly. I did not say it was an amazing first...just a first. And I have to say something. I was in SHOCK at the cheers they taught my four year old. So much in shock that I am not sure I want her to go back for more "practices".
I do not know if I want to go into the words of some of the cheers, but I found myself pondering again. If we teach our precious daughters these mindsets, attitudes and (degrading) comments when they are (4), 5 and 6, what exactly do we expect them to become when they are 9 and 10 or 15 and 16 or 20 and 21?
I began to think--"Paige, you are getting old--this is not that big of a deal."
And then I watched as my daughter taught me a lesson. She didn't mean to, but she did. We were gearing up to go to the local high school football game and we were talking about who they were playing and Caroline asked me if we were sitting on a certain side of the field. I told her we were sitting on the Bruins' side of the field and she said (with fist raised), "Good, boo (insert enemy school from across town). We don't want them to win, do we mom? We want the Bruins to win!" (please note: we were not even playing said rival team)
I agreed with her--yes, we do want the Bruins to win. But I stopped--and thought--where did she learn that we only cheer for the Bruins and that we want our rival school to lose?
Oh...wait...that might possibly have come from
My children will have many teachers as they grow (Lord willing, that will include Caroline and she will actually learn to enjoy school) but the teacher they will learn the most from is me. Now, I don't say that because I AM a teacher, I say that because I am their role model for the things of life that cannot be learned in a classroom.
And so I must ask myself: Am I teaching them the right things? Or am I filling their minds with empty words and meaningless experiences?
I have been given an awesome responsibility and it is not one I can take lightly. They are what I teach them...by example, with words, and in my actions. Lord, that I may be worthy of the task.
" Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates..."
Deuteronomy 11: 18-20