Here is a little letter from me:
I am not a parent – but unjustifiably i feel like partly parentish. I had 9 living siblings ok, of which i was the second eldest. I started babysitting when i was 13 – because everyone thought i must know how to take care of kids because i had so many siblings. I did actually. It was second nature. Sometimes i’d do a biblestudy 40+ kids a night; by myself or with a sibling. I started changing diapers when i was 3 or 4 and i didn’t stop until i was 28. I almost cant believe that is been a few years since i changed the diaper of a baby…..
So believe me when i say, “i have a taste of what i’m talking about”.
I need you, desperately need you, to listen to me – even though you may already be doing these, this will confirm that you’re going in the right direction.
So please, don’t click away. Read to the bitter end and either be convicted or confirmed.
My dearest brave people,
I know. It’s scary. Getting married opens the door for talk and possibility of kids. It’s part of the reason i’m still single. Being a parent is a HUGE responsibility.
It will call on all the resources you thought you possessed; but now find lacking. It will make you google or buy books or go to groups or even talk to other moms – or even perhaps God forbid your hard to talk to/deal with/estranged Mom.
Those little eyes have no prior scenes to compare what you show them. They have no other universal knowledge. They have no words of wisdom but the ones you shout in frustration at your neighbor, your Mother, your sister, uncle, cousin, husband, wife.
They will not be able to figure out how to resolve conflict with their school mate or teacher or coworker, unless you show them with your spouse.
Perhaps the first conflict resolution they see will be the schoolyard fistfight. The movie knife fight. The television punch of ugly words.
Who was your hero? Your mentor? Your greatest influence?
Did you have one? What did you need? What did you desire?
I saw this little video:
where the little sister covers her brother in peanut butter – and my first thought was that they felt free to just explore and a little part of my spirit cried out for my own lack of innocent freedom as a child…
I wrote my sister sending her the video:
“Can u imagine feeling free enough in your mind as a kid to just be creative and explore like this without any inhibitional fear? #wow#mindblown”
Never in my wildest imagination would i ever have thought of doing this – and even if i had thought of it fear would have kept me from it.
Not fear of punishment. Fear of losing love.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t know anything else but what i grew up with. I thought we were getting the better end of life than most kids. In one sense we were. And in another we were not even by a long shot.
There is too much, that goes too deep and would burn little scars in your throat and mind if i wrote it now.
I’m sure there will be time to write another “Dear brave ones” letter; i’m sure i will think of more to say,
But for now, my burdened mind just wants you to know these two things:
1.Your kids need the best and rightest version of what the world could be. Because you are and will always be thee foundation of all their thinking and reality of the world and how things are and should be. If you teach them wrong they will always be fighting to think and do right.
And you are the only one that can do the bulk of that.
And in that, Christ is thee only one who can give you the strength to say “i’m sorry” and the power to kneel before your daughter or son as a Mom and say “Mommy was wrong” or as a Dad and say “Daddy was wrong” or to kneel before your spouse and say “i was wrong”.
Christ is thee only One who can give you the power to resolve your anger with your spouse with kindness.
Because your kids need that.
They need to see how to do resolution.
They need to know the power of God in your life.
They need to see you falling apart and God to paste you back together because perfect love casts out all fear.
2.They need to be able to smear their sibling with peanut butter and have you laugh with them.
Because they’re kids. And they don’t know any better. And they’re experiencing things for the first time.
They need a reality of the world that is unclouded of hate and ugliness without God.
They need you.
And maybe you need them too.
I need you.
I didn’t get this. I didn’t get the apologies. I didn’t get the permission to feel and touch and taste the kindness and goodness of foolish fun and free laughter.
I thought i did.
But so does a dog who lives all his life tied to a pole. Fed, but never running and rolling in the grass. Never chasing his tail foolishly.
I was the good dog who never barked and always licked the hand of my master and was never allowed off the pole.
I need to see you loving your spouse and loving your kids.
I need to see good models of families because my reality is tainted, tattered, and torn.
I need you.