Raising kids is such a hard job. Exhausting. Long. Often thankless. Full of mistakes. Sometimes it makes you wonder what, if anything, your kids will hang on to.
One day you blink and your middle child becomes a legal adult and your oldest child is weeks away from exiting the teen years and even the baby of the family is about to choose classes for his second last year of high school. How did this happen so fast?
Yet...all in one weekend you catch glimpses of successful training...
I arrived home from my inservice to find my kitchen spotless. The dishwasher was unloaded-reloaded-and then was washing again. The girls were gone. I would not have been as surprised if the girls had been home and they had done it. Knowing it was Kaden was a surprise. A huge surprise. Kaden's bedroom was actually clean--like "Mom" clean. Kaden had also made himself lunch-French toast- and literally had not left one clue that he had done this. On Tuesday, he made a good decision to obey when it would have been easy (and practically impossible to trace) to disobey. He is showing more and more initiative and independence and thoughtfulness every day. It's an equal balance between loving the man he is becoming and losing the little boy he was.
Kezia has always been my brave girl and so incredibly willing to share her faith publicly. I remember when she was in Grade 5 she was asked to do an assignment on song lyrics and then share it with the class. She did not hesitate to pick a Christian song with a strong biblical message and go through each line to explain what it meant to her non-churched classmates and teacher. Last week she handed in a research paper to a teacher that he actually told her "You can do this topic if you want, but it wouldn't be my first choice". Her paper was about how the Bible supports and predicted scientific theories. She was not at all concerned that it would affect her marks. She was not afraid to saturate her paper with Bible verses and to hand it in to a teacher that outright preaches against the Bible. She is a brave girl. Today, she shared with me a decision she had made recently. She knows what she wants. She shared with me that someone had written advice in her birthday book (the one we gave her for her 13th birthday) and she really took that advice to heart. I was blown away. She shows the maturity and level headedness of someone much older. I honestly don't know if I would have been able to make the same decision that she did if I was in her shoes. This is not the first time my child has acted with more maturity than I would have.
Today, I spent the day with Kiandra. Kaden was working with Conrad and then had plans for the evening. Kezia had crew and then work. Kiandra and I took the old cabinet doors to the Restore, then dropped off some things at thrift store, then went grocery shopping. I'm so glad she was willing to accompany me on these errands:
As I listened to her stories from her week (she had just spent a few days babysitting for a family while the parents were on vacation) I realized (again!) that she is truly amazing. She handles 4 children and meal prep and extra curricular activities, and hair do creation, and school drop-offs and pickups, and laundry like a pro. She is about to spend another week babysitting for her cousins and will still fit in working at her job and other commitments too. Kiandra is not only an extraordinary babysitter but while at the thrift store she bought a few things for a small group night for her youth girls. She is using her car to connect with her youth girls by attending things they are involved in (like band concerts). She lives with such a magnetic positive personality who will handle every new and unexpected situation with joy.
In all those exhausting days I did try to "train up a child in the way they should go" and what a blessing it has been to see glimpses of what kind of adults these kids are growing up to be.