It starts as early as sunrise some mornings. And though I’m sleepy, I have a choice.
I can let my sleepiness be an excuse to waive off the challenges of the early morning, or I can rise up, face those little people with a smile and a cheery, “Good morning, doll face”, and get my mommy gear on.
“I know you’re hungry, but don’t whine. Be patient while I cook the grits.”
The training begins.
“Will you please get the spoons for me?”
“Speak kindly, please, she didn’t mean to do that.”
Reminding, replacing, encouraging, embracing.
“Who left their bowls at the table?”
Even though it would be easier to just take it to the sink myself, I go downstairs to call them up.
Habits are being formed, like railroads, as Sonya Shafer says, that will guide them for the rest of their lives. Regular, good habits will give them a much easier ride.
There seems, in our day, to be a lot of children derailing. Someone didn’t take the time.
“Let me show you how to hang up your clothes.”
“No, you don’t speak to your brother in that tone of voice.”
“Why don’t you let her go first…isn’t that what the Bible says?”
“Thank you so much for getting your sister out of the high chair. You’re going to be a great Dad.”
Not even day by day, but minute by minute, we build them, shape them, grow them.
Cultivating habits of attentiveness, diligence, courtesy, integrity, honor, service, love, gratitude.
“Look people in the eyes when you speak. It shows them you care about what they are saying.”
And I must prove I mean it by stopping to look them in the eyes….a hundred times a day.
It’s a relentless job. There is little room for rest. And sacrifice is always required.
But there is sweetness and peace in doing hard things that will impact the future, all the way into eternity.
Now that’s big.A bigness worth a full time effort.