As I was reading around on other blogs I can across this excellent post at the Misfit Cygnet. I was appreciative of her opinion and it lead me into examining and evaluating my own "educational philosophy". She mentioned the Hebraic model of education. The part which especially struck me was this: "In the Hebrew (scriptural) model of education (whether child-training or adult apprenticeship/mentoring) the goal is for the disciple to BECOME what his teacher IS."
I thought, "I don't want my children to be like me. I want them to be better." I mean, isn't that the goal of all parents? To give their children what they didn't have. To make it easier, better. Right? Right?????
As I was thinking how very much I didn't want them to turn out like me I had the thought, "YOU need to be better." It wasn't a destructive, painful, demeaning thought. It was a patient, quiet, gentle nudging to do better. Instead of instantly coming up with the 5 million things I do wrong (or don't do but should) I found one or two ideas that I knew I could work on right away. As I master those, I'll work on another few. And I know that as I work on those things my children will have that example in front of them so they will hopefully gain that skill/characteristic as well.
That same day, or maybe a day or two after, my 3-yr-old ran up to me and threw his arms around my neck and held on for dear life. My 'baby' put his cheek against mine and said, "I want to stay with mama forever."
For some reason that struck me to my core. Was I doing the things I needed to do so that we could stay together forever? Was I being righteous enough? Valiant enough? And the thought enlarged to include my physical being. Was I doing what I needed so that physically I could be around for a long time?
I generally go into self-destruct mode at this point and start thinking of how bad I am. How worthless and pathetic. How I fail at everything. Maybe I'm in a healthier place now. Maybe I'm actually ready to learn. But there is no failure or defeat. Only a desire to change, a little at a time. To trust that the Lord will show me where He wants to me change next. I know He will guide, support, encourage, direct, assist, comfort and empower.
So IF my kids turn out like me, it will be okay. And I will get to cling to my family forever.