I haven't updated here in a few days, not because I didn't want to, but because I couldn't figure out HOW to. Blogger did some updates to their home page, and my browser wouldn't support the changes, and clicking the 'make new post' button wasn't accomplishing anything. But I uploaded the new browser, so all is well now. It just took me nearly a week to figure it out/have time to do it. I am NOT a big technology person, if you can't tell. If the little button I'm supposed to push doesn't work, well, then...I'm sunk :)
But here I am, back again finally :) And what's on my mind? Well, Joel took Eli to a soccer game the other night. When they got back, Joel was talking to me about the difference in sizes of kids on the soccer team. At age six, a healthy child can weigh anything from 40-65 pounds, depending on their body makeup, how tall they are, and their build. It's amazing.
That got me to thinking about how different ALL kids are, even among the same sibling group. Take my kids for example. Cosette was talking in paragraphs (LONG paragraphs ;) by the time she was two. Noah didn't speak more than five works until he was almost 3 1/2. However, Noah walked when he was nine months---Cosette was well past a year before she walked. And the list could go on.
And how easy it is for us as parents to start to compare. Not just among siblings, but friends, relatives, etc. "So and so's child can read already and he's only three!" "My dear sally was potty trained by 18 months." "Well, the Smith's little boy Johnny had his very first tooth at four months!" "Oh no, my friends three year old can ride without training wheels---is my child delayed?!"
And it seems to never stop. We compare and contrast as if they're apples and oranges, rather than precious gifts from God---unique, different, and each one special.
And let's face it, folks---whether your child reads at two years old or eight years old really isn't going to make a difference on their SAT score at the end of high school! No fiancee is going to gaze into your son's eyes someday and say "Honey, I am SO glad you had your first tooth at four months!"
No, let's admit it-----we compare and contrast them for OUR own benefit. It makes us as parents feel special---it makes us feel like we're doing a better job than so and so--" Can you believe her three year old isn't potty trained yet?!" We give ourselves a little pat on the shoulder and say "Well self, you're doing pretty good!" I think in the Bible this is called 'pride' ;)
Or, we might look at other children and begin to worry about our own, and whether or not they'll EVER catch up to the 'other kids'
Can I just take a minute to challenge us as parents (and I'm speaking to myself here too) to stop the sinful comparing? When we look at our children, we should see precious little souls, open and eager to hear the Gospel message. Our intent and focus should be on raising those children for the glory of God---to become caring, God fearing, Jesus loving adults.
Besides, if every child were an Einstein, where would the Beethoven's be? If every child were an astronaut, where would the doctors be? If every child were a famous musician, where would the pastors and mothers and fathers and famous chefs and missionary and teachers be?
My daughter recently told me that when she grows up, she wants to have 'dozens and dozens of children'', haha. Noah said tonight that when HE grows up, he's going to be "a pastor and a Daddy and Eli's soccer coach" Haha---at least he's picking good role models :)
So embrace your child's uniqueness....rejoice in other's successes and achievements.....and see your children for the precious gifts that they are.
I'm preaching to myself here, but you all are welcome to listen to ;)