Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer . . .

The days of summer are slipping away much like the sand between my toes as I stand on the beach in the twilight hours. I love this time of the year. I love spending time with my family and watching my little one play on the beach. Looking for seashells as if they were precious jewels and screaming with excitement when she finds something more special then the last. She is totally absorbed in the moment. I would like to paint this moment on a canvas and hang it on my wall to keep forever. Then I watch as she and her father walk hand in hand along the beach, and I try to imagine what it will be like one day when he walks her to the door on her first date, to her dorm room, or walks her down the aisle. I know time will fly no matter how badly I wish it will stand still.

But it won't, and then I remember she needs us so much every moment and not in these special ones. I am reminded of the children that I teach that do not know or understand this kind of love. It truly saddens me that so many children are not loved or at least not shown love by the people they need it from the most. So many mothers and fathers are living in their own moments as their children live totally separate lives. It doesn't matter really if they are rich or poor. The love of a parent is so essential to a well-rounded child. I think the definition of love is so broad. It means that you would lay down your life for your child, but it doesn't mean that you are their best friend. You must be able to distance your self enough to discipline your child and teach them behaviors that are appropriate and respectful. So often I have found myself just getting caught up being a mom and making my girl happy that I forget that happiness in the moment will not give her happiness for a lifetime.

Let me explain. She may be crying in the store for a Barbie or a toy, and if I buy it for her, I am very much making her happy in that moment. However, if I explain that if she works hard doing her chores and earns an allowance she may be able to come back and buy the Barbie herself then I have taught her a life lesson. I have taught her that work is something valuable. I have taught that the Barbie you buy through your own hard work will mean more to you than if I buy it for you. It is a very simple concept, and I am not sure why so many times I give in to the moment instead of embracing a teachable moment. Not that she doesn't deserve surprises or fun things, but I know in my mother's heart and in my teacher's heart that if I don't show her the value of work that no one else will.

Which brings me back to the moment, the beach and the setting sun. I hope the sun never goes down on a day where I have not attempted to be the very best mom because truly it is my job to be her teacher.

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