They say that parents give children their first impression of what God is like. The first impression I want to leave is that God is always with him, and God is always for him. So our little family of three is doing our best to stick together through thick and thin, and to encourage each other.
I want him to know that mistakes happen. No matter what anyone says, failing is part of practicing. I want him to know that he is loved unconditionally. To not give up or say "I can't"... and that it's okay to ask for help.
I want him to respect and trust authority. To know that it's not okay if other kids hit him, or steal his toys. To know his worth. To learn early how to resolve conflict without having to feel hopeless about it.
Academics are important -- but these things are more important. I feel so privileged to be given the job of training him in love and life... to be the one who gets to be there when conflict arises, and walk him through it (even if I don't always know the answer, I can pray with him). To encourage him, to see him change his mind and believe he can do it; to see him try again.
Most of all, to cheer him on in that brief but important moment, when he needs the cheering from his mom. I don't want to miss that one. What an honor!
As he gets older, more teachers and mentors and instructors will come into his life for a season. They will help him learn a skill or make his goals more clear. They will model a character trait for him.
But for now -- this sacred moment -- his daddy and I are it. We are laying the foundation for all of that. And we want it to be the best foundation to build on, so we follow God's design and take his hand and lead him gently and diligently. We take him to places for the first time and introduce him to all kinds of people, and day after day we work with him on brushing his own teeth.
Monotonous moments are, in reality, foundational and sacred.
He wouldn't remember much about a trip to Disney World at this age, but he will remember our attitudes in the day to day. Our work ethic. Our hugs. Our disappointments, but the fact that we always rise again. Our priorities. Our presence.
The gift I am giving my child these days is the gift of my presence.
I love being available to answer the silly questions. Together we are busy and together we take breaks to rest. We teach each other and we play together and we work together. We make messes and we clean up. We get sick and then take care of each other. We eat together and help our friends together. We are around each other enough to hurt each other's feelings. Our house is small, so there is no where to run and we are forced to forgive or explode. Forgiveness... we learn that, too.
Everyone chatters on about how it goes by so fast. Well I am determined to soak it in and make the moments count. If "love" is spelled T-I-M-E, then this simple beginning to his life has been time well spent. I thank God for these moments we have been given.