One of the best parts of my job is that I’ve been able to take my kids to really amazing places around the world. I first got the idea when my oldest daughter was entering 3rd grade and decided she should come with me on what became one of my great memories of parenthood.
This worked so well in fact, that I decided to try again with daughter number 2. Same age, same year in school – This was also great and she proved to be a much more adventurous eater than #1. We had a wonderful time and another great memory maker.
So child number 3, our boy, is now having visions of travel with dad in his head. He will be entering 3rd grade next year and he has full expectation and an overdeveloped sense of entitlement for his 3rd grade trip.
Boys and girls are different. Yes, you know they are different, but you don’t know how different until you raise some yourself. Kid one and kid 2 were super compliant, kid 3 has a well developed sense of independence and a pretty strong will. I’m not saying we aren’t doing the trip, I’m just saying, I might want to let this cook a little while longer.
I’m writing this because tonight the subject came up. We talked about the kind of maturity he would need to demonstrate in order to be considered “ready.” He got upset and later, when he got into trouble for something, he started crying, “I’ll NEVER GET TO GO WITH DAD!” I tried to calm him down and assure him that he is still totally loved by mom and dad and that he’ll go when the time is right.
But later it hit me. I was thinking about this incident and realized that the cry of despair from my boy is real. He is a sinner – willful, independent, smart alecky, disobedient (just like his dad – really he’s a great kid!) but I think he is feeling stuck and unable to grow past his stuckness. This is what we call in the parenting world, “a teachable moment.” Too bad he’s asleep. Maybe I should wake him up.
Man, teachable moments are hard to seize. What moment, you ask? I think the moment of realizing that in my own power I am unable to produce the kind of behavior that I know is pleasing to God. I really need a savior. Not just to forgive me for my wrong deeds, but to help me become all that I have been created to be. This is what I want our kids to understand. Not just how to do right behavior, but how to see how stuck they are and to enjoy the WD40 goodness of the gospel.