Friday, April 24, 2009

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

It's the end of an era. A leap into the unknown. Today, we dismantled the crib. Sniff. Our baby isn't a baby anymore. The crib was that final hold-out from admitting that we have two toddlers, now. Of course, Big Brother will be 4 in October, so he's essentially a preschooler!

I look at Little Brother's PJs and discover that they're too short. What do I do? Pull out the hand-me-down clothes in the next size, of course, and pack up the outgrown clothes for my nephew. It would be unreasonable to try to keep him in clothes that are too small!

As I look around our house at the games and toys we have for our boys, I realize that I have kept them in toys that are too "small." We've still got the Classical Stacker, the Rock N Bounce Pony, the counting pal, teething rings, rattle/key chains, and even an activity walker! The "Goodnight Moon" game, Elefun, a bowling set, Gator Golf, and coloring books galore are stored neatly away on a high shelf. Why? Why have I not provided toys that stimulate their creativity and mental development? Not for safety concerns nor a lack of opportunity. Nope, it's all me.

I can't admit that they're ready for new things. I'm not ready for them to be ready for new things! Baby stuff, toddler stuff... that's stuff I know! Preschool, though, that's a scary new world. The toys are more dangerous (those golf clubs are great for hitting your brother). The games are messier (paper butterflies all over the living room). The activities require more supervision (unless you like finding finger paint on the blinds). The interactions require more teaching on my part. Can I handle that? Can I be trusted to accomplish all that?

The answer is neither "yes" or "no." It is, "You Must." When I consider my actions in light of my priorities, I know that in order to serve my children to the best of my ability, I must not only allow, but encourage their growth! But still that fear remains. Can I raise my boys into men of God? And then I remember that it's not about me, but Him, and He can accomplish anything in spite of me. Give thanks for his goodness and mercy! Now, where is that stepladder?

“Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
- Exodus 4:11-12


SquiggleMum said...

Great post! I SO hear what you're saying. We're not planning on any more kids, so as my little baby boy zooms ahead meeting his milestones - I'm a little reluctant to go with him! Already he's crawling and wearing clothes that look like a "big" boy. *sigh* Isn't it amazing the way God grows us as He grows our kids?

Rachel said...

But He grows each with an entirely different approach. Kids just require a bit of food, drink, sunshine and love. Adults require aerated soil, specialty fertilizer, precision pruning, water meters, sunlight measuring tools... we are so difficult to cultivate. Yet another reason he teaches us to become like children!