Ashlyn (7) and Jadalyn (8) were here last week. While I washed the dishes I remembered the days when they both clamored to pull up a stool and wash the dishes. I let them do so occasionally, but generally I preferred doing it myself. Because, you know, I was so much more efficient!
I’m connecting some dots to something I wrote four years ago. As follows:
“Let me carry it,” says Ashlyn, a three year old. “No,” I say, “it’s too heavy.” “I’ll help,” pipes up Jadalyn, four. So I give it to them. “It’s too heavy,” they say. So what did I say? “I told you so.” They responded with a smile, of all things!
There must be a better way! I question what the reason is that makes a once eager and motivated child become lazy and slothful about doing their chores. I don’t know all the answers. I don’t even know many of them; however, I do know “I told you so,” is not very rewarding. Couldn’t I have said something like, “That sure was nice for you to try,” or “That will be fun next year when you can carry it all by yourself”?
So now I have a new question, “Why am I still learning lessons at the expense of my babies?” How long is it going to take me to “clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Col. 3:12).” I can’t find one of those attributes in my story above – at least not in me. I find them all in the little ones.
Thank you, dear granddaughters – mothers of my great grands – for teaching and modeling good mothering to your little ones. When I watch the girls play with dolls, I take note of the loving way they treat their babies. It is so good to know that’s how you treat them. Love you, my darlings – Kristina, Mandy, Leeah. – Well, I take comfort in knowing I had a bit to do with your upbringing.
Oh, Jesus, I bless these offspring of mine in your name. Help rid me of the discouraging words, “I told you so.” Replace it with gracious encouraging words.
Picture: Some of my little ones cooking with their mom.