Saturday, February 2, 2008

A New Normal

As much as I'd love to say that things are back to normal now that Momma has left the couch, I am realizing that is not quite accurate. There does seems to be a new normal developing, though. It seems to be the usual plan after any season of crisis-mode living, and with my fickle nature, it is good. I kinda like change.

During my time of being less than 100% available, the children have stepped into new roles of greater responsibility. That is not the kind of thing I want to un-do by jumping back into my old role too quickly or too fully. The mention by others of relieving the children from some of their added responsibilities during this season was only momentarily tempting, as I would not dare relieve them of all of the self-respect and healthy pride in what they learned to accomplish. I realize that contrary to what my opinions may have been early in parenting (about other folks' children, of course), my children, rather than being burdened by the added responsibilities, have been freed. They are now walking in beaming confidences that would not have been theirs outside of this opportunity to grow under pressure.

The children have benefited through their own amazement of what they could actually do, and Mr. Visionary and I have benefited through knowing our children better. It has helped tremendously for Mr. Visionary and I to remember what the learning curve looked like in our own lives. I learned to time meals properly so that it all came out ready at the same time by having cold vegetables while still waiting for the meat to cook. Mr. Visionary learned to manage the woodstove properly by waking up cold many mornings. There is always a learning curve, and always a bit of pain (to varying degrees) in the learning. The larger the lesson, the worse the pain. We learned that debt is a curse by losing our home and filing for bankruptcy many, many years ago. How much kinder to our children to allow them this season of learning while still at home.

Mr. Visionary was 14 when he got his first pocket knife ~ our oldest sons were each 8. I was 18 when I touched a sewing machine for the first time ~ our oldest girls were each 6. Were these hard and fast rules that guaranteed when a privilege would be granted? To the consternation of the children younger than the eldest of each sex, the answer is, "No." We studied each child and judged when was the right time for each of them, for each opportunity. Do we know better than our parents did? Maybe not, but we sure know our kids better. Our giving them plenty of chances to grow or to fail while at home is evidence of not only our love for them, but our love for them that is greater than our love for perfect results. Lessons learned when you are 10 are not as traumatic as the ones you learn at 25 while you already have a family to support. Ask us how we know.

Not only can our ten-year-old Engineer run the log splitter and load the woodstove, he has learned to keep the porch wood box filled at all times so he will not have to fill it during a freezing monsoon cold rain. Not only can our big girls plan prepare a meal from scratch without any assistance, they have learned to begin preparations early enough to have dinner before breakfast bedtime. All this without telling, without nagging and with far better results. Mr. Visionary and I do not as much telling these days. We explain and encourage, we supervise and watch from a distance, but we allow the children to learn the lessons for themselves. They are allowed to do things at their ages that we would never have been allowed to do. They are learning lessons early on that we desperately wish we had been allowed to learn early. They are allowed to fall flat on their faces...and with more explanation and encouragement, to rise again.

Because the security of home is a good place to learn.

Note to my Children: You guys did well. You rose to the occasion, took on the challenge, brought glory to YHWH and made Mom and Dad incredibly proud. May what you learned during this season stay with you forever, and may you use it to honor YHWH as you bless your families in the future.


  1. I'm thanking Father with you... at the close of this Shabbat... for 'normalcy'... in its new and most renewed form.

    Isn't it one of the biggest blessings this side of heaven to watch (even from the couch) olive shoots sprout... and grow... and bring forth sweet fruit...


    Carla Lynne

  2. Congratulations children! You are growing into wonderful and responsible young men and women with skills that even some adults today have not yet acquired. Father will use these skills in your lives, you will be so blessed to have learned and mastered them.

    Julie - I'm glad you're feeling better. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your family. You are a wonderful encouragement to your readers.


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