As most of my readers know, I am in a season of life where I care for two of my grandchildren while their parents attend full-time University. It has been an incredible journey for myself and my husband. We are learning to be loved and to love on a whole new level.
Human Nature. Sigh………
We are all born into this world with a mind that is so ready to learn. When I began giving birth to my own babies and found myself in an unfamiliar life setting I read, I talked, I observed and I listened to what others were doing and not doing with their children. As parents I think we find ourselves in a life full of busyness and just plain old work! Keeping the house work up to the best of our abilities, changing diapers, feeding our babes and spending loving moments with them. AND, don’t forget, longing for sleep and time to ourselves and with our spouses. Our whole world changed – hopefully to the better. Mine did. As a matter of fact, we tend to spend so much time tending to the babes physical needs (and that is VERY important) that we wonder if we are fulfilling their other needs that lead them to become the amazing human beings they are meant to become. We don’t always feel that we are making a difference, do we?
Does that make sense? I do believe they take in a lot by observing us and how we treat them and others. Example is nine tenth’s of the law – is that how it goes? Whatever……
But what about that human nature? I do believe that babies come into this world with a need to be loved and held and comforted. They have a need to be fed and cared for…… Feed Me! Sometimes my human nature takes over and doesn’t want to love them right now – I don’t want to hold you, I just want you to sleep so I can sleep…….. Know the feeling?
Well, as a grandparent, I can tell you that it’s a whole new ball game. It is not my responsibility to be their parents. It’s a new freedom to be able to love on them and comfort them and spoil them to some degree and then send them home. Since I have them five days a week, and most of the day, I, of course, change the diapers, take to the potty, wipe the snot, etc. BUT, I also have a different perspective than when I was the mommy. I get to see things about children I didn’t have the time for when I raised mine. It’s amazing. Well worth the wait for this time in life.
But back to that Human Nature. We teach them to love and be kind, and we better, because in each of us is this uncanny ability to be mean. There, I said it. I sat here and watched as the little one (one and half years old) approached the bigger one (almost four years) and wanted what Sissy had. Thankfully, Sissy is kind, most of the time, to little sister. When Sissy wouldn’t give in to little one, the little one became a human piranha – her mouth flew open and she came at her sister with the intention to bite. And bite she did! Other sibling confrontations have been pushing, knocking little one over, etc. All normal behavior as far as I’m concerned. Usually they work it out among themselves or parental – type intervention comes in with time-outs and good talks.
Have you ever wondered this – we teach them to love and be kind and to help each other, etc. But how did they learn to bite? How did they learn to want what the others have? They seem to pick up on all the selfish traits and desires much sooner than they do the love and kindness and sharing. It is born in us. Baby, you were born this way……..
So, that being said, what is our “job” as parents, grandparents? I see it as a very serious and high calling. Guess what peeps? These little ones have come into our charge, whether we were expecting them to come or they were a total surprise. And these very little ones will be the people who are in our government offices or businesses or neighbors when they grow into adulthood. These very little ones are the future of our world. This is serious stuff. Don’t ignore them. Feed them with love and kindness and giving hearts. Listen to them. Get to know them. Each little babe is an individual human being with a built in personality and gifts that we, as parents, need to discover and nurture them into the adult they were meant to be. There is no one solution for every human being.
A particularly favorite Proverb of mine is: English Standard Version
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This isn’t easy. It takes some serious time with our babes to see who they are. It would have been much easier for me, as a parent, to have treated my four all the same. Even the same discipline techniques did not work on all four – I know, I tried.
So, Dear Parents and Caregivers, let’s do our best to know our children and raise them along that path. Then, when they grow and mature into adulthood we can look at them with love and pride. We can continue to cheer them on and we can rest assured they will do their best to make right decisions for themselves and others and this crazy world we live in.
Who could not love these………