Kids are watching us.
They are watching how we respond. What we say, what we do. I know it’s always been true that my boys have been watching me, but it is even more clear these days… now that they are starting to repeat me. Phrases I say are making it into their games of make believe. My reactions to frustration or sadness or joy are sometimes their reactions.
Every time I hear or see the less than good parts of myself being parroted by them… oh it makes me full body cringe.
Friday morning in the car, the boys were all talking at the top of their lungs. I could barely hear myself think. So, at one point when quieter pleas for order weren’t working, I quite aggressively told them to shut up. Actually, I think I said “Boys, shut it already!” Then, when I parked and started to get them out of the car, I heard them telling each other to “just shut it already.” Bad momma example.
After school, however, I got to provide a better momma example. When I picked them up, I said: “Hey boys, you know how you see mom exercise everyday lately?” They nodded. “Well, I did it so much this year, I get to sign a very special barre. Would you like to come and watch me sign?” They all said yes enthusiastically (and loudly). It was unexpectedly exciting to have this moment with them watching me achieve and exceed a goal.
Kids are watching us. They are watching the adults around them and looking for examples of who they should be. I know we will fail as much as we succeed, but we have to try and be good examples as much as we can… so that they can grow up to be the change we want to see in this world.
Today is the Baptism of the Lord. This feast highlights the One that showed us the best example of how to be. By our own baptisms, we were called to take on the mantle. We are called to act on the side of love instead of hate. We are called to care how our actions and words affect those around us. We are called to work for positive change and be Christ’s hands and feet in the world.
The kids are watching.
May we help them see greater possibilities ahead.