It doesn’t take long for parents to realize that children have to be taught how to be good. They aren’t naturally born the angelic little creatures we meet for the first time in the delivery room. We’re all born with a sinful nature and even those precious little bundles will soon enough turn into little stinkers with personalities we never dreamed they’d possess.
My three were no exception. There were misadventures that I thought would lead me right into a straight jacket. I soon found out it’s part of the parenting process. They will get into things you never dreamed of. As a fledgling parent you’ll soon discover that, but as with all things in life, God is there organizing the chaos for our benefit.
There will be the gum, peanut butter, finger paint, oatmeal and other assorted yucky things in their hair, on the wall and their clothing. You can almost count on the family pet getting spray painted blue, dressed up in baby clothes, jumped on, tugged on and hugged beyond belief – nails pounded into the wall for attaching Barbie doll clothes – frogs jumping across your living room carpet – humongous snakes being personally delivered at the front door by one of them – putting dangerous items into their mouths – destruction of many things you hold dear – trips to the emergency room – sounds of screeching, crying, whining and complaining. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?
I guarantee that every child is different. They each have their own way of frazzling your nerves or frying your brain, but when you tuck them in at night and say prayers with them, and they look you straight in the eye and tell you they love you – none of the other stuff matters. Things can be fixed, but little hearts and minds need your constant love and attention. They depend on you for advice, encouragement, instruction on how to live life, hugs and kisses, band aids for their scrapes and scuffs, but mostly they depend on you as a role model. That’s a huge responsibility, but one of the greatest accomplishments you will ever know.