Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Choice

Are you a thinker? Yeah, me too. Every night my poor brain needs a good solid stretch of sleep to clear out all the day's cobwebs.

As I watch my kids play, it's evident they're thinkers, too. Like me, they're trying to figure out how to live life better, how to do what's good and not squander time on anything less.

And like me, they're discovering the hard way that life isn't about controlling others; instead, the good life is about controlling yourself. They're teaching me, and I'm slowly learning. . .

Tonight in the nursery, Royal Princess dragged Baby Moses around by the hair. (For those who won't click the link, no worries; it's just a doll!) At first, Princess was optimistic about her parenting skills. Here, she's saying, "Baby, say 'Chee!'"

But her optimism soon turned to discouragement. Her sweet, precious Baby Moses wouldn't respond to the simple command, "Stan up!!" Have you ever tried making a plush doll stand up? It'll never work!

Figuring this out, Royal Princess walked her baby over to the "car," commanding, "Baby, wide in car!" And do you know, that Baby Moses must be a particularly strong-willed child. . .

Because she absolutely refused to "wide in car."

Frustrating, isn't it? When everything fails and nothing works, when you're losing control of your kids - er, baby doll - and you have no clue what to do? I've been there, Royal Princess. You know I've been there, 'cause I've been there with you! (Today, about 57 times.)

But I'm learning, with painful slowness, that I can no more control you and your brother than you could make that plush baby stand. I can disciple you, shape you, train you, pray for you, invest in you, and love you.

But control you? No, I can't do that.

And really, it's not so revolutionary, is it? Who wants to be a controlling parent, anyway?

I suppose we could tape Baby Moses to the car if we wanted to control her that badly. But is that the point? Am I trying to control my kids and steal their freedom?* Is my goal to snuff out their spirits, and deaden all their strong-willed dignity?

No, I don't think so.

Tonight, I learned a lesson from my little girl - one of a million my kids have taught me. And oh, do I have a long way to go! But here's the first milestone on this marathon:

Controlling others destroys their freedom; controlling myself fosters liberty - theirs and mine.

Still just a little nervous about free will,

*Um, and just to clarify - I would never tape my kids to anything. It was an analogy. An illustration. And that's all. But you already knew that, right? :)


  1. LOVE this Becki- thanks for this!

  2. Thanks, Sara. I'm a slow learner when it comes to things like this!! Trying to model self-control doesn't really come naturally to me. ;)

  3. I agree with you; I enjoyed todays post. We need to let our kids be kids. That is how they discover who they and and what they want to do in life. Our job as parents is to protect them when we can and to teach them to follow God's path for them and how to be respectful toward others. They need to learn how to make the right decisions in life because we are not always going to be there to make it for them.

  4. That's definitely true, Chessy. We can only control them for so long, but if we do - they won't be prepared to make choices themselves! Good reminder. :)