Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What is the Greatness that we teach our children?

My kids on Christmas morning at our house
in January when Tay came home from the
hospital. We held Christmas to enjoy it together.

Too many gifts to fit under the tree! The lined
the hall going into the kitchen.

I have always been a firm believer in several things in teaching my children. I expect greatness from them. It is plain, it is simple, and it is a bit old school if you may, similar to the golden rule, yet, I feel that I am much more liberal that most that I see.

I have seen students in college and in high school since I have always tried to volunteer at the schools, that just fall apart when they feel they have let their parents down with a grade less than an A. It has always baffled me to some extent. This isn't like they were sad, but that they were distraught, and giving up on themselves for fear of what their parents would think of them. Gosh, what a heavy load to carry! How sad.

Don't get me wrong. We all get disappointed in ourselves for in one way or another, for fear of disappointing others. Sometimes however it is from the guilt that those people place on us. I don't want to be the mom, friend, wife, person that makes people feel guilty. Have I done it before? Made people feel guilty, you bet! I don't want to be that person though. It doesn't seem healthy.

I guess a lot of this has to do with my love for my son and seeing the struggles he has to feel somewhat normal. He is trying his hardest to function, yet, it will never be up to some peoples standards. To me, it seems like these are the people with a real problem. How did it become the problem of the person with the disability? It makes no sense.

I am to the point, and have been for a very long time... if you try your hardest and get an F, then that F is fantastic. HOWEVER, if you get an F as you weren't following up on your homework, or applying yourself to the best of your ability, then I will make sure that you do apply yourself. Sis had a really hard time with Spanish Class, so we paid for a tutor to come and help her to enable her to apply herself more efficiently. She has made it clear that she didn't apply herself all the time in school as it was more of a social scene for her. (Do I dare tell her that it was the same for me? She already knows. ) Yet, the last semester of school she took classes at the college and really applied herself and did so well.

I remember when Tay was a little guy. When we would ask him what he would like to do when he grew up, his biggest dream was to work at McDonald's. When you asked him why, it is because he wanted free fries with his meal. We would chuckle at him. Now I sit back and I think to myself... do I want my kids to live out my dreams or their own dreams. Do the people that work at fast food chains need to be treated differently than the rest of us with career in different industries or in professional settings? Certainly not. They are no different. In fact, they most likely are working harder than many of us.

I remember being a waitress, which I did for most of my life at different restaurants and clubs. I remember always feeling down about myself. I remember not feeling like I was as good as others because I didn't have that college education and job doing something really *IMPORTANT*. The fact of the matter being, I was doing something important. I was a mother to two little ones and I was feeding them without child support. I was making sure they had food and nice clothes and heat to stay warm in the winter. I was making sure they weren't yet another statistic of mommy sitting at home on welfare. (Welfare is good if people need it in extreme emergency cases, but to be on it or abuse it, not for me, and I feel it is abused.) I made sure if my babies were sick, I had medicine to make them well. That is hard when you look at all the bills attached to keeping up a home, and having two children to feed and clothe on my own, yet I did it. I was important. I was teaching them. I also volunteered at the school twice a week (once in each of their classes), was involved in the church, and would like to volunteer to help feed homeless on the holidays, and make sack lunches to give to the homeless downtown.

Is our greatness defined by the jobs that we hold or is it defined by who we are as a person and what we do to show those around us that they are important? It is important to teach our children to apologize when they are wrong. Apologies left unsaid can really eat at a person. Apologies help achieve greatness. Showing people how much they are loved is also greatness. Not only is it something that helps them with confidence as a person, and feeling secure in being loved, but it makes your heart grow.

My lesson to my kids:
Nobody can take your faith or your knowledge away from you.
Family is family forever. No IF LOVES, BECAUSE LOVES... only anyhow love. (Mrs. Gage in the third grade taught me that lesson when she was substituting for my teacher, Mrs. Lang)
Try your hardest at all you do, if you fail, no big deal, small beans, you won't fail yourself when you gave it your all...
Give of yourself, you will receive back in ten fold. That isn't monetary for purpose, but, watching the joy of others will give to your heart ten fold....
If I leave this earth before they do (and it better happen that way) it won't be good bye, it will be I am getting a home ready for them for our forever life in Heaven, and that each of them is EVERYTHING to me, along with my husband.
Apologies are not just for the person that deserves the apology, it also cleanses our soul and makes us not feel so bad. Don't pass up a chance to apologize as you may never get that chance later in life and it will linger with you.
Help who you can, and direct those that you aren't able to, to someone that can help them....

Our two main jobs in life:

Be good to each other and those around us. That is our job!

Make the most beautiful relationships here on earth while we have the chance as when it is time to go, we don't want things being left unsaid.

With this, have my children achieved greatness. WITHOUT A DOUBT!

Gordy, Amanda, Taylor, and Carlie, you have achieved greatness. I am so proud of each of you. I am sOOOOOO blessed that each of you is in my life.

1 comment:

Didi said...

You have some lucky kids ya know that?! I hope so....and I think you do...and also that YOU are great for modeling for them the right way to live. We have to same rules about school...both boys are expected to do their best...and that doesn't always equal an A grade. They aren't punished for not knowing something but if they don't USE what they know they can be sure we will be hanging over them making sure they do in the future! Keep up the good work!