My son has a milk moustache. It mixes with the peanut butter and jelly already mucking up his lips, his cheeks. He is out of his chair – dancing.
“How does my skeleton make me move, mommy?”
He sings a made up silly tune as he dances, whirling around, experimenting with all the angles his body can make. He knows he is not supposed to be out of his chair until he is excused from the table.
I let him dance.
I answer his questions.
I remind him, gently, to sit down and finish his lunch.
He obeys with a full smile, milk moustache in all its glory, nourishing the skeleton that makes him move.
His skeleton does make him move, or rather, it allows him to move. It gives his body form and substance, makes his movements meaningful and deliberate. It allows him to walk and dance and run. It will enable him to do hard work and to hold his wife. This structure which houses his organs, his heart, his soul, is rigid. But within that rigidity, because of that structure, my boy has complete freedom of movement.
It is helpful when enforcing boundaries with my children to remind myself that it is not my duty to raise children, it is my duty to raise adults. Right now they ask endless questions and poop their pants with virtually zero social consequences. One day, a day too swiftly approaching, that will change. I do not want to raise men who are a thorn in the flesh of society. I do not want to raise men who grieve the Holy Spirit. I want to raise strong, confident, godly, gentle, responsible men who love Jesus and love their people well. But I want to raise my men. I want them to be selfless, but to be wholly themselves.
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Parenting can be a bit rough at times. With a little encouragement, we can all become better parents to the glory of God!