Tag Archives: spiritual parenting

Back to School Blues

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In two more days I am going to be experiencing what many parents have already experienced.  I am going to have my first “school night”.  Piper is going to have to get to bed early because it’s a “school night”.  I have already been a big blubbering mess about this whole thing and won’t go into too much detail otherwise the tears will just start flowing again.  We got to visit her school yesterday and were able to meet the teacher.  We only were informed about this on Wednesday.  I was feeling a little uneasy not knowing all the logistics, so it eased all of our nerves to walk around the school and get to see the classroom and meet the teacher.  She rode around the playground on a tricycle and when we got home she said, “Ugh, I do not like those tricycles.  The are cheap and they just tip so easy!  I mean I don’t know if they really are cheap but they seem like it.”  Funny kid.  While we toured the grounds, we took some pictures and then I came home and made her this little book of what to expect as a kindergartener.  Years ago, I was a bit critical of homeschooling.  Maybe it was because I was a public school teacher, but now as a mother, my mind changed.  I have friends who homeschool, it seems like you can take the classroom on adventures where ever you go, and also, how cool would it be to teach kids who you think are so great!  I have taught some great kids, but I have also taught some not-so-great kids.  I dream about teaching again, but in my dreams my classroom would be much smaller, like my own children.  And then we decided on sending Piper to school.  We have a peace about it and nothing is forever.  We said we’ll give it a try.  We are not “stuck” with our decision on way or another.  I usually have a bad case of the blues in September, but this September is especially challenging with Brian and Piper going off to school.  I wanted to write her a letter and when I told Brian that I thought before she starts school seemed like a good time to do so, he wanted to partake as well.  So, I apologize for the letters I have enclosed.  They make me cry and possibly will make you cry too.  So don’t read on if you don’t want to.  Also, perhaps you will see us as “newbies”.  If you have older kids, you might think we are weird and that we should be celebrating the fact that I can get rid of her 5 hours a day.  Well, I’m not there.  Perhaps it’s because she entertains my crazy 2 year old and now that is going to be left only up to me.  She also translates for me sometimes too when I seem to be struggling with understanding toddler-talk.  Anyway, here it is.  Oh, notice the girls got hair cuts, cute huh?  Okay, sorry, here are our letters.

Dear Miss Piper Lee

Tuesday will be your first day of kindergarten.  It is hard to believe that the time has come already for you to start school.  It doesn’t seem like very long ago that we found out there was a baby in my tummy.  Wow!  That was a big surprise!  And now you are 5 ½ and ready for a new adventure.  You have such an adventurous spirit that I know you will look at kindergarten as just another adventure on your journey through life.

I want to tell you a few things that are so important for you to know that I wanted you to have it in writing in case you ever need to look back and be reminded. 

First of all, you are beautiful.  You are my child and you are made in the image of God.  You are beautiful on the outside of course, but on the inside too.  I love watching you play with Tatum and showing grace with her when she knocks down your Legos.  I love when you make me pictures and write i love u on them.  I love your ability to memorize Bible verses.  I love your excitement when we go on our family adventures.  These things show me how beautiful you are on the inside and I want you to always know that. 

 Secondly, I want you to know you are loved.  You are loved by me more than you could ever know, Daddy, and it is obvious how much Tatum adores you.  But most importantly, you are loved by God.  You are going off to school and though you won’t be around me, Daddy or Tatum, you know that you are never alone.  And the one who loves you the most, the one who placed you in my tummy is always with you.  Never forget that.

You are getting bigger and I love it!  I really do!  I love reading chapter books with you and look forward to when you will read them to me.  I love going and seeing movies with you and riding our bikes together too.  All these things you have to be big for.  But it also seems that the bigger you get the more independent you get.  The more you don’t need me.  And the funny thing is, the bigger you get, the more I need you!  I wanted to say thank you and let you know that I am grateful for your help.  Thank you for cleaning up messes that Tatum makes.  Thank you for helping me make dinner.  And thank you for putting your clothes away even though I know you hate doing it.

So, my child, go and “let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven”  And what was the verse again?  Oh yeah, you know it, and I always forget, Matthew 5:16.  I love you Piper and am so proud of the girl you have become in your first 5 ½ years of your life.  I can’t wait to see what is in store in the future!

 Love,

Mommy   

Dear Piper

Summer is over and many great times have passed- like paddle boarding to the Newport Dunes and sleeping out in our fort.  But September will be different this year, we will both be going to school.  I’m so excited to see all of the students and do many great things.  And I’m so excited for you too.  Your mom and I have been praying and praying, asking God to put you in the perfect school, in the perfect class, with the perfect kids.  Not that everyday of school will be perfect- some days will be hard, some will be boring, some kids might not be friendly, and some kids might even be mean- but perfect meaning just what God wants for you.  Sometimes he might want you to be nice to kids who are mean and sometimes he wants you to be patient when it’s not your turn.  God is making you perfect, just like he’s perfect, one day at a time.  So even though Mommy and Daddy won’t be by your side, we’ll be praying for you each and every day, that you might remember your God bump, that special place where God lives within you, going everywhere with you.  I’m so thankful for the Bible verse you taught me recently: “God loves you where ever you are”.  Jesus is the best friend, the best teacher, and the best father you will ever have.  Thank you Piper for teaching me so much, I am so proud of you and always will be.  So to my special little girl, my schatzi, I wish you a wonderful first year of school- you’ll do great!

I love you- Te Amo

Daddy

“Do not seek your own good, but what is good for others”  1 Corinthians 10:24

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The Transforming Question

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Last year I wrote about a love that transforms (click here if you didn’t read it), and when I thought of today’s title, I really didn’t want to use the same word, but I couldn’t think of another one that worked, or fit the same way as this one.  Changing doesn’t work.  Life-altering?  Well, I wouldn’t go that far.  And so, we are just going to stick with transform, I figure it’s been close to 50 posts since I wrote transform in my title, maybe it’s okay to reuse the word now.  Okay, I’m going to get back on track now.  When Brian and I took our parenting class in the fall, there were a few things that stuck with us that we have been implementing in our house.  I loved the idea of the mission statement that I wrote about in Identity Crisis: Part 2, and there was the topic of story-telling that was really great too.  And then one week we focused on responsibility.  While I don’t remember everything said that evening, I remember learning about the magic question, What needs to be done?  So. very. simple.  It offers the children a chance to take a look around and answer the question, make a decision on what they are going to do about it and tackle it.  I do not want to be a nagging mom.  Currently, I am not, but maybe it is just the age of the kids.  Maybe I just haven’t had the need yet.  If that is the case, even when the time comes, I want to avoid repeating myself to the point that my kids tune me out and don’t even listen.  Instead of saying, “Clean your room!”  You could walk into the room with your kiddos and say, “Let’s take a look around and ask ourselves what needs to be done?”  The overwhelming sense of cleaning the whole room suddenly isn’t looming over them.  Now, they can break it down into smaller doable tasks like, the dirty clothes need to be put in the hamper, my bed needs to be made, the Barbies need to be put back in the bag, etc.  It is such a simple change in what we might normally say, yet it seems to make a world of difference.  I felt that it helped us look at maintaining the house a joint effort.  If you see dirty clothes on the floor whether they are yours or not, pick them up and put them in the hamper.  It brings about action instead of waiting for someone else to do it.  It has the ability to take the focus off of ourselves and to look at the big picture, even globally, really.  Instead of your son or daughter saying, “that’s not my job”, we look it as a job that needs to be done and whether or not we are able to take care of it.  When we are at the park and we see trash on the ground, we can teach our kids that something needs to be done, and why don’t we pick up the trash so that the place looks nicer for all of us who enjoy this park?

Sometimes, I just want the kids to be entertained with something so that I can clean up and feel like I am making progress.  But recently I have tried involving Piper (and Tatum sometimes, mostly I still don’t make any progress until nap time)and have used that question.  For instance, one day we were having some friends over for dinner and I told Piper that we were having friends over and that we were going to eat outside and I told her what we were having.  I wanted her to know what the plan was and then I asked, “What needs to be done?”  She said, “the dog poop needs to be picked up and I’ll clean the water table.”  I really didn’t see a need for the water table to be cleaned, but I let her clean it, anyways.  She wanted to and she decided that it was something that needed to be done.  Besides it kept her busy!  I was so happy that I didn’t tell her what I thought needed to be done, because do you know what?  The kids played in the water table that night and I was sure glad it was clean!