Monday, February 8, 2010

Developing

It was a long, good weekend here. Sometimes, it is hard to believe that so much can be packed into two short days.

First, thank you for praying for my Noah. He went on the retreat and he had an amazing time. Here at home, it was strange having him gone. The rest of the kids missed him terribly and everyone commented on that several times. I spent a lot of time thinking about parenting... seeing, in a whole new way, what a short season it really is. By Saturday night, I had to work hard to not get in the van and drive up to Wisconsin just to see my boy... but Mark spoke reason to my weary soul and I stayed put. : ) That said, we did text the coordinators of the retreat who told us, compassionately, that Noah was fine and enjoying the nacho bar. That is really all I needed to hear.

He laughed and played and learned and sang... yes, sang. My shy boy participated in karaoke! I could not have been more surprised. Seems there is another benefit to our children spending some time away. With wings spread wide, they may learn to fly in a way we would never think to teach them. Overall, I am thrilled he went and so proud of him for deciding to go.

In addition to this big event in Noah's life, Benjamin started something bold and new, as well. He has been begging us to learn to play the violin for years. With our houses and financial situation, this just was not an option at all. We recently heard about a new opportunity for students to get violin instruction essentially for free! Benjamin had to write an essay as an entry that explained why he wanted to play. There were many, many entries but his was chosen and he was thrilled to start instruction yesterday. He soaked up every word the instructor spoke and worked so hard to get all the techniques just right. Benjamin is a complicated kid who can often mistake teaching for criticism. So, seeing him openly try to do exactly as he was told was really amazing to watch.

Last night, during the Super Bowl, I sat and watched my kids. Noah, our sweet home-body, had returned from his retreat. Though he is most often involved in athletics, he was sitting on the floor exploring an art kit he recently bought. He was sketching and thinking and watching the game. Next to him sat Benjamin, a soccer kid through and through. And in his hand was a pencil with little sticky circles on the end that will help him to perfect a bow-hold for violin. I watched him set it down and pick it up and check his fingers, then do it again. And I suddenly realized how important it is for us to be careful not to pigeon-hole our children. We live and breathe athletics here, with all the children playing a sport. We love that they are active and healthy and strong but it is good for us to see, again, that there is so much more for them to learn. Being an athlete does not eliminate a heart for the arts. And the reverse is true as well. As parents, we have a huge job to do... and a part of that is consistently finding ways for our children to be exposed to new activities and events so that the whole of their little beings can find ways to be developed.

It keeps us on our toes, doesn't it? Just when we think we know who they are, we catch a glimpse of some new upcoming thing. A new perspective, an undiscovered passion, a new way of seeing who they are and what they can do. How amazing to be able to watch...

Blessings on your day!

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