Disclaimer~I am not the perfect parent nor do I claim to be. I try not to parent other people's children nor do I claim to be an expert.
Every once in a while as a parent one seems to have a day where they can look back and say: "Wow, I'm not doing too bad of a job as a parent~!" Yesterday just happen to be one of those days and so I want to share.
Many years ago, in my many, many, many conversations with my best friend Dickie, she would tell me how she prayed earnestly everyday to know how to parent each of her children. At that point in my life I was young and very naive about parenting. As my children have grown and I have become more dependant upon the Lord to help me raise four children, I realize how much her advice is what is saving these children from me making a total mess of their lives.
In December I had a chance to drive my mother out to her LDS mission in Salt Lake City, Utah. As I was driving I had lots of time to think and to ponder about my life and what was happening. Of course the relationship with each of my children and my husband weighed heavily on my mind. I have always wanted to be the perfect spouse and the perfect mother for my children. I know! I know! Many of you are saying right now, "That is suicide! You can't be that!" But hear me out. I believe that I can be the perfect spouse and the perfect mother for MY spouse and for MY children. I really do believe that! Anyway, as I was out in Utah being with friends and chatting and sharing about my family I had many thoughts of what I should and shouldn't be doing. These thoughts kept flooding my mind. I really do mean FLOODING! I was away from everything in Kearney and I was able to just think. I was free from the turmoil that sometimes surrounds me and I was in a SAFE environment for 72 hours. Thoughts about Colin, now 17 years old, kept coming to me. I think I must have told Dickie at least 100 times, "I think Colin should quit his part-time job and just concentrate on school" I think she got kind of tired of me talking and discussing it. As I returned home from Utah, I talked to Daren about my feelings and about the impressions I had had. About three days later I was doing a late night run to Wal-Mart for milk when I ran into Colin's teacher, Mrs. Hunnicutt. Colin adores her. She and I were talking about Colin, of course, and I shared with her my impressions about having him quit his part-time job at Papa Murphy's Pizza and how I felt very strongly that he should just concentrate on his school classes. In this conversation with Mrs. Hunnicutt she explained that sometimes with children of Colin's scholastic abilities, they need to have more boundaries set for them then we sometimes realize. She said that sometimes bright and very goal-driven children are just waiting for someone in their lives to tell them "No! You can't do......" WOW! A light bulb went on. Daren and I parent Colin so differently than we do his siblings. Colin needs little or no guidance from Daren or me. He is very disciplined and has known since he was little exactly what he wants from life. He gets up everyday at 5:30 AM with no help from his parents. He attends seminary every morning and more than excels in his studies at school. As a seventh grader his ACT scores were "off-the charts" and he is very honest and obedient. Seriously, I am not bragging. I just stating the facts.
So after this conversation with Colin's teacher and the thoughts and feelings I had had during my trip to Utah, I came home and shared all of it with Daren. We agreed that we would sit Colin down and let him know of our concerns and then let him figure out what was best for him. We gave him the option to quit his part-time job or to let the boss know that he would be available for 5 or less hours a week of work. NO MORE! At first he was a little reluctant to the whole thing because I think he really enjoys the $. Of course he does! He is 17 and $ means freedom for so many things. Although he is very tightly budgeted and spends little or none of his income. Again, this is coming from him, not us.
So now fast forward to January 16. Colin came home from school yesterday after doing mostly homework almost every hour of the day and night for the last two weeks and went on "Power School" to check his grades for AP Calculus. All of a sudden we hear yelling and screaming coming from the computer area. It's Colin jumping up and down over his 96% in AP Calculus. He was thrilled! He now sees that having a little parental guidance from a mother and father who truly love him isn't so bad. I have learned once again (hit me over the head with a brick) that Heavenly Father wants and is so willing to help with our earthly tasks if we will but just ask and follow his directions and inspiration.
Time and time again this week I have seen the Lord's hand in my life as I have turned to him for guidance and have also followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost. In my life I have learned that it isn't always so good so when I have success, I want to share so that maybe I can be the "wise friend" to someone else, just like my friend Dickie was and is for me!
Happy Saturday! It's off to two basketball games for Cameron and Laura, getting ready for a potluck after church tomorrow, cleaning the house, coloring my hair, getting my Sunday school lesson prepared, preparing dinner for 30 Young Single Adults and enjoying a little down time with Daren.
Saturday is a special day! It's the day we get ready for Sunday! And my list is all so long!