"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June." —L.M. Montgomery
Sometimes it’s easy to feel like your creativity is out of practice. When summer first arrived it felt like we were tired of “learning…” and just needed a break.
We sat awhile longer, ate some more snacks, watched the crashing waves, and then suddenly it came to them.
They then maneuvered that huge log with great difficulty for nearly 20 minutes across the beach, until they had created their very own see-saw. It wasn’t even the end product that they loved as much as the process of creating it. The process of “learning” how to get it from point A to point B.
I sat there and watched, coached and encouraged, and really just enjoyed watching them learn a lesson in perseverance.
There’s so much to learn outside of a school year, you know.
This summer my kids learned teamwork, and the importance of pitching in around the house. A mama’s job is to outsource, teach, and train those following behind her. In the early days of lessons there was a frequent phrase of…
To which I said, “That’s ok.” Nobody really wants to pick up their socks and do a load of laundry. The lesson? We can’t run our lives always by ‘want tos,’ sometimes it’s only driven by musts.
After the initial protests ceased, let me tell you what… bathrooms were sparkling, carpets were vacuumed, and dust had temporarily disappeared.
Had you peeked inside our home, you would have seen me frequently handing out wet rags to all, one for windows, one for walls, one for baseboards, and one ‘never for your brother’s face when he’s not looking…’
You see, I learned that it was time to teach them to help. Moms are always learning too.
I learned that they can unload a dishwasher, wash their own bedsheets, and make pizza dough in the bread maker. It’s been delightful to see the capabilities of all of my kids accelerating at a rapid rate.
Do you know what else? The little boys in our house learned how to sit quietly and ENJOY a chapter book being read to them. I’ve been waiting for years for that to happen, and this summer was a first.
Charlotte’s Web has now been shared with all the kids in my home, and spiders have become a new special friend whenever we go outside. “I see another Charlotte Mom!” He’ll exclaim from time to time.
And as a result of remembering to notice one little creature, I think our eyes were opened up to notice all of the creatures around us. Bees and butterflies, tiny fish, floating clouds, and blooming flowers.
Her book has reminded me that there is so much to be learned just by having our eyes wide open. And how amazing to just NOTICE the wonder around us, and awaken that wonder inside of our children too.
In very practical news,
Big brothers also learned that it’s rude to make ‘surprise mystery drinks’ for little brothers… and that nobody should ever be sneakily offered a concoction of mustard, cocoa powder, soy sauce, icing sugar, and hummus. (And no, topping it with marshmallows doesn’t make it nicer.)
Little brothers learned the importance of being suspicious about any and all ‘surprise mystery drinks.’
Needless to say, this summer we also learned to say sorry often, and to ask each other for forgiveness.
We learned that a lot can be done with just a little.
And that fun can still be had not going too far from home.
And in the past few months we learned that our family WILL be one that regularly prays TOGETHER, about big things and small things… ABOUT all the things. Because it’s what we want to be doing together 10 years from now, so why not start now.
And I was reminded that kids as young as 4 can be taught to pray. And the sweet phrases they compose ‘to Jesus,’ are simply beautiful.
Learning. It’s so much more than just schoolwork.