Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Ultimate Compliment

I'm going to (try to) make this a short one, because Peyton is going to pen the all important Santa Compromise post later today. I told him around Christmas that I wanted to give him the opportunity to post about it himself, since he is the one who had the issues with Santa, anyway. Well, now that it is mid January, if he doesn't do it in the next day or so, I am going to write the thing myself. Anyway, onto the topic of this post.....

There is a book that I love and adore called The Country Bunny and the Little Golden Shoes. I'll probably feature it one Wednesday, because it is one of my all time favorite books. The VERY condensed version of it is this: One of the Easter Bunnies (yes, there are multiple ones) gets too old and has to retire. Little Mother Cottontail (also known as "The Country Bunny"- the book's title character), who has been occupying herself up to this point by being a stay at home mom to twenty one little cotton tails, decides to "audition" and finds herself among the great big jack rabbits. She gets chosen to be an Easter Bunny and is given her mission. I'll stop short of retelling the entire story, but the part that is relevant to this post is what becomes of her children when she is gone.

The country bunny was one smart momma and she watched her children carefully, and then capitalized on each of their natural talents (one neat little bunny made all the beds, two were the cooks, one painted beautiful pictures, another sang to keep her siblings entertained, and so on). So, when she was gone for a day over Easter, the house ran just as smoothly as if she were there.

Cut to the other night when Peyton and I were reading our couple's devotion book and it was telling about word pictures. One of the exercises was to create a word picture for your spouse, comparing him or her to something. Guess what Peyton chose?

That's right he compared me to Little Mother Cotton Tail. I would love to say I am her and that the compliment is dead on. But, realistically, Ann Peyton isn't even old enough for me to know.

That said, I'd love to be a mother like that one day. I do not want to be the mom that does her children's homework and tries a little too hard sometimes to "fix" all their mistakes (read: my mom). [Just to be clear, my mom did a LOT of things right; this is just one thing I want to do differently]. I want to give my children age-appropriate responsibilities.

I want them to know that the tasks they do are important to help keep things running smoothly.

I also don't want to push them into doing something (like cheerleading or theater) because it was important to me. I want to encourage Ann Peyton (and our other children) to pursue the things that interest them and that God gave them a natural gift for.

I guess Peyton's off hand compliment really got me thinking about some of the values that I care about as a parent.

4 comments:

Ashley said...

Such an enjoyable post :) I also think that's an important value--the family is a unit working together!

Christy said...

That is so sweet that he said that :)

I am with you on those goals! It is SO hard to find that fine line between encouraging and helping your children grow, but at the same time not taking over and helping TOO much.

fragmentsoftheday said...

OH MY GOSH. That is one of my favorite books EVER. It has been so magical for me my whole life, and my mom remembers it being that way for her as a kid, too. We always got it from the library when I was little, but last year my mom bought me my own copy. This is my Easter equivalent of how wonderful "Santa Calls" is for me personally at Christmas.

Carrie said...

I agree with this! David really feels strongly about giving our children age appropriate chores, and then not going behind them to "fix" them if they're not perfect. This probably means we will have lumpy, messy made up beds (which will drive me crazy!) but I think if you fix what your kids have done (if they've done their best!) it sends the message that they weren't good enough.