Friday, March 7, 2014

Grown-ups Can't Teach Grown-ups!!

My oldest daughter Blake is amazing... literally amazing at some pretty crazy sports.  She competes in little BMX races, rides a motorcycle with no training wheels, and is on a little ski team.  She rides a pony and a horse (almost) by herself.  This sounds like we spoil our children horribly (which might be true) but it is all possible because of our four awesome grandparents.  They provide opportunities for our children that they normally would never get to do.
Tommorrow is Luke's day off, and since he doesn't get a day off next week, we want to make the most of it.  I told Blake we were going to go family skiing, with the 2 year old and the 5 year old (hopefully not the baby ;)).  I also told her we were going to have Grandma Bonnie come skiing with us.
She got a big grin on her face, but then it changed quickly to a frown. "Does she ski?"
Not really, to be honest.  She had a few brief runs before Blake was born but hasn't really skied since I was young.  "She skis some, but she might need some help."
"Perfect," Blake said.  "Grownups can't teach Grownups... so I will teach her to ski."

Matter-of-fact very literal Blake has made a statement she believes is a truth and moves on. Conversation over.

I almost corrected her...almost.  And then I realized she might be right.  Maybe not about the skiing but about so much else.

I learn so much from my children daily; things I either didn't know or things I have forgotten.  The joy of a swing set at the park...pure happiness from a few minutes of swinging in the air.  Those soft quiet moments when they wrap their arms around you and whisper, "I love you," for no reason at all.  When was the last time I did that to someone...just because?

Watching your children's innocence and joy as they experience something new literally opens your 'child' eyes you thought you closed somewhere around your 3rd semester at college.  You see what beauty is around us.  You feel the slimy skin of a fish for the first time, all over again.  The thrill of a roller coaster which you would have once said was too small and boring is reignited as you ride next to your screaming child.

My husband, the Anti-Disneyland Man of this or possibly any generation, is now excited and ready to take his children to Disneyland!  A money-making, evil corporation that just forces parents to stand in lines and give all the money from this month's paycheck (let's be honest... a couple of paychecks)... has now turned into Elsa's Castle where he would love to take his girls.

I have learned not to care so much if my socks don't match or if I want to eat cereal for dinner.  I have learned about what a blessing it is to be asked to speak in church.  Everytime anyone talks in church, we hear about how they didn't want to do it... they were nervous, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed etc. Even when I get asked, I wonder how I am going to get my children dressed and ready and at church 20 minutes early.  And I will, of course, have to be ready. Really ready, like with makeup and curled hair READY!
 But last week Blake was asked to give a little talk in her Church Primary Class and her immediate unscripted unprompted response.  "YES! YES! YES!  Let's go write it!"

As a mother, I was thinking about how I now had to help write a talk, memorize it, and then repeat it 3 million times to my daughter so she can memorize it. When we brush our teeth, when we drive to and from preschool, before we read scriptures at bedtime... Literally repeating it time and time again so she could be ready.  But Blake, she was just excited.  Grown-ups really can't teach Grown-ups.
Sometimes all we need to be happy and enjoy our lives is to listen, really listen, to the words our children say.
My husband gets home about 2 hours after "ZERO HOUR".  You know that time of night when you are cooking dinner and your kids are screaming, and the babies hungry, and you think, "This would almost be manageable with another pair of hands."  Well, most nights I push through this dreaded hour and finally make it to MIRACLE MILE= BeDTiME! After potty, teeth, scriptures, books, water,  I close my children's door and sit on my LAZY-Boy afraid to fall asleep because I am still holding a baby and I might drop him if I do. :)  Just kidding; hopefully that would never happen.  But my husband comes through the door, and instead of greeting him as I should, I grunt something unintelligible about how dinner may or may not be in the fridge, and ask half-listening how his day was.  And he grunts back, "Fine. It was okay..."  blather like that.
Yep, sad to say, that is often my reaction to my husband coming home.  When I don't make it to the MIRACLE MILE and my kids are still running around when Luke gets home the response is very different.  If I was smart and I was learning from what my children were teaching me, I would be standing at the top of my steps with them, cheering and jumping up and down.  I probably wouldn't try to jump the 6 steps to our splint-entry landing where he catches the girls because I wouldn't want to be a widow; I'm afraid if I jumped that far into his open arms it might literally kill him!  But I would show my excitement that he was home.  I could give him a REAL kiss, instead of a tap on the cheek he sometimes gets if he leans close enough to me on the LAZY-BOY, and I could give him my undivided attention and ask him sincere questions about his day.  Let's be honest, he would probably appreciate it if I was still wearing a bra and if I had tried to wipe the spit-up off my arm and neck.  Maybe grown-ups can't teach grown-ups... But I could learn a lot about love from my kids.

Every time my two year old tells me she "loves me more than the leaves on the trees"  in her little cute voice it reminds me why I love to be a parent.  But I go to the park with my friends and complain about potty training or fighting or why my child hasn't eaten a single vegetable in two months (yep...that happened) I loose sight of the joy and the fun aspects of being a parent.
So even though I sometimes hate it, I will keep repeating the church talk over and over, and I will take my children to swing on the swings, and I will watch them learn to ride their bikes so slowly I must keep my feet down like Fred Flintstone to keep at their pace,  I will let my kids teach me about life.  I will embrace life with my 'child' eyes. Because grown-ups can't teach grown-ups.

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