Both of the kids celebrated birthdays recently, and C's age has started to sink in now. It is so unimaginable that 4 years ago today I was holding a new born baby that I was allowed to take home. I felt often after taking C to our home that they had to have made a mistake, I couldn't be just allowed to go to a hospital with a swollen belly and return a parent.... How is that possible?
But here I am... a parent. Not just a parent, but the parent of two amazing children. C is constantly asking me lately what words mean. This doesn't sound too impressive considering that his language skills are amazing, but when I really stop and think about it if he wants to know the meaning of a word that means he is thinking about their meanings, and trying to use them correctly. All the big words that before now just didn't fit in his vocabulary are now taking a front seat in his life. Today he wanted to know the meaning of 'distance'. Before I might have said I needed some space, or 'back up', or something, but now he can understand and use the word 'distance' instead of all those other words combined to make the same point. That is just incredible to me.
What else amazes me? Well C is not an artistic person on paper. He can build and create things out of legos that will amaze you (or maybe I'm easily amazed)... but give him crayons and paper and he will tell you 'I don't want to color cause coloring makes me boring'. His bluntness is astounding. But today during church he was handed a baggy of crayons and some coloring pages, and he SHOCKED me. First off one of the pages had the new year written out in block letters for him to color in, he TRACED them all... quite well too... yeah that doesn't sound like much, but I have been homeschooling him for 13 weeks and have been unable to get him to understand the concept and purpose of tracing, and here he was doing it on his own, and presenting it proudly to me. Then he turned to another page, with a caterpillar and a butterfly on some plants with big leaves. He colored the caterpillar pretty much the way he always colors, big scribbles, so long as the whole image is colored it has never mattered to him whether his crayon stays in the lines or not... then he hands me the crayon and says "I can't color the butterfly" I show him how to color one small part at a time, and then he goes to town, making small scribbles, hardly getting out of any lines at all, and completes the whole butterfly. This is amazing for two reasons, 1. he finished the whole picture (he refused to use any color other than blue), and 2. he cared about the work he was doing! He colored in the lines as much as possible, and spent time and effort making it his best possible. So my little boy is truly growing up and the things I show him, they take awhile to sink in but I'm encouraged that they do in deed sink in.
And then there is F. Oh my gosh she is amazing to me. And the love that flows between them gets me to the core. Lately she is attempting to potty train herself. This is just incredible to me because it took a LOT of concentrated effort to get C to understand and care what a potty was for let alone get him to use it. F will walk around tugging at the seam of her pants saying "PAAh eee" (potty) when she is going, and expect you to put her on it whether she's already gone or not. Just barely 2 and determined to do what big kids do... I don't imagine that it will take much effort at all to get her out of diapers, and since the pile is nearly gone I think we may just actually potty train her now.
These children, they are my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my emotions on legs, with arms that hug and smiles that inspire, and words and actions that teach me so much every day. And the more I see them, the more I interact with them the more I believe that there is no right way to teach a child, there is the way a child learns, and if you grasp that you can teach them anything. Which is why it is so important to me that I do teach them all I can offer, and that I'm careful not to teach them the things I wouldn't want them to learn from me, the bad habits I need to break, the insecurities that I have... I want them to learn all that I have learned in my life time, and also all that their own lives can offer them. And I pray that I'm able to do so in a manor pleasing to God, and honorable to those who have blessed their lives with that education.