Brush your teeth.
Wash behind your ears.
Leave the toilet seat the way you found it, DOWN!
Eat your vegetables, and no, French fries does not count.
No punching, hitting, or biting.
Share! Share! Share!
Always say please and thank you.
And, never, ever forget to say grace and give praise to the one that formed you, that breathed you into existence.
The list could go on and on. The list of lessons we must teach our children before they grow up. Before they fly away, and leave us with only a nest of thistle and twigs.
Daily I run thru the checklist in my head. Am I teaching them the important things, the ones that really matter?
Have I shown them that regardless of how tall you stand, you are always stronger on your knees, bent over in prayer?
Can they hear from the lyrics my tongue composes to uplift, comfort, and encourage and not hurt or hinder those around us?
Are they seeing it’s more important to lift a hand up and not a hand out?
Do they know to seek the altar and not applause?
Do they know to choose their words wisely? They may not be sticks and stones, but when thrown carelessly, they can hurt just the same.
Am I teaching them forgiveness for not only others, but themselves as well. We are all human, made up of flesh and bone. We are weak and clumsy by nature, but what matters isn’t that we stumble and fall. It’s how long we stay down that counts?
I know there are boxes I have not been able to mark on this exhausting, never-ending list. There will be lessons I will forget to teach, and actions I wish I would have shown them. The days are long, but the years are short. They will grow up, and I will run out of time, but the one thing I hope they learn from me, other than being strong in their faith, is I hope they learn to enjoy life. I hope they savor it, devour it, eat it up. I hope they skip the fork and use their hands. I hope they are covered in it from their head to their toes, and when God gives them a taste of Spring in the middle of Winter, I hope they will do what we did this past Friday; put on their rubber boots and hit the door running.
What lessons do you hope your children learn or don’t learn from you? Please, share! I need to keep adding to my list…