What if we met people where they’re at rather than where we want them to be?
What if we used this time of being home with our family, this time of putting schedules and pickups and activities on hold, to really learn each other better?
As a born and raised tomboy, I NEVER expected to be the mom to three girly girls rocking dresses and pink like it’s a full-time job. I never expected to have my life set to JoJo Siwa’s soundtrack on repeat, but do you know what?
That is where they are at.
I am the mom who learns how to do a pristine dance bun, who practices violin with my girl even though I don’t have an ounce of musical education in my body.
Some days I own we don’t parent our mini-me’s but, in all honesty? Other days stretching so far outside my comfort zone to meet them in theirs drains me.
Recently I read in 1 Corinthians how Paul became all things to all people, “so as to win over as many as possible.” To the Jews, he became a Jew, to the weak he became weak, to those outside the law, he became as one outside the law (9:19-23) and so forth. It really struck me.
What if we did the same with our family?
What if we really looked our kids in the eye and listened? What if we really tried to learn their interests, to learn their hearts, and met them there?
Over this past week at home (with many more in the foreseeable future :/), I’ve been trying to better meet my kids where they’re at. Here’s how
Watch Them Play
As I sipped my coffee early in the week, I watched two of my girls play. One was in princess pretend-play land with a quite heated discussion going on between Rapunzel and Ariel. The other was happily coloring, keeping her colors pristinely within the lines.
Rather than catching up on dishes or laundry or emails, I decided just to sit and watch them be who they are. I didn’t see who I wanted them to be or who I expected them to be based on how their sisters or parents or wired.
I simply marveled at how their hair flipped out at the ends, how they laughed with the guttural belly laugh, and how they led each other using a pointer in the school lesson written for the day.
It brought SUCH a huge smile to my face.
While snuggling over Netflix binges is highly encouraged, let’s be sure to also leave room to pull up our coffee and let our kids be.
Join Their Play
My other daughter loves to cook, but her baking sessions, with peanut butter-smeared counters and flour-sprinkled floors, take me to my Lysol-led crazy place real fast. The other day, though, when she asked to make a dessert for everyone, rather than saying, “I don’t want to clean up the mess,” or, “We don’t have enough time,” I said, “Can I help?”
I helped her pull down the ingredients she couldn’t reach. I showed her how to cut measurements in half since we only had half the apples the recipe called for. I followed and cleaned as she cooked in her true Tasmanian Devil’ish form, And, do you know what? She absolutely loved it…and I did too.
I loved it not because it wasn’t dirty or I loved her way too salty Apple Turnover (bless her), but because I let her passions shine and met her there.
By letting her do her thing rather than mine, I saw smiles. I saw joy. I saw her cooking confidence grow and it really made me question why so many times I let my way get in the way of letting her be who she was made to be.
This week really got me thinking…
What if we stepped back, now and then, just a little?
What if we gave our kids space to be who they are?
What if we used this time to put down our phones and really see each other?
To see our spouses diligently working from home,
To see what brings our kids joy.
I’m guessing we’d notice they are capable of much more than we think.
I’m guessing they’d smile and grow and feel seen and loved.
I’m guessing we’d come out the other side giving thanks for exactly where they’re at today.
How are you trying to meet your family, your people, where they are at right now? How can I pray for you as we traverse this quarantine together?