As I was on my knees praying before Mass last weekend, I found myself focused on my children and how I can best guide them in their faith and in their lives. In particular, I asked God to help me to nurture them and help them to grow into the people He wishes them to be instead of the people I think they should become.
You see, it all started on the way to Mass as I was talking to my 13 year old son about Boy Scouts. Since the summer, his enthusiasm for Boy Scouts has waned considerably and I often find myself nagging him to complete his badgework, go on campouts or even go to the weekly meetings. I decided that I didn't want our relationship to devolve into one of nagging and whining so, I backed off despite the fact that I really wanted him to continue.
Keep in mind that there was a reason I had been nagging him. At one point he was totally focused on becoming an Eagle Scout which I thought was great. It was something he wanted so I was going to support him and help him with that goal. After all, what mother wouldn't be proud of her Eagle Scout son? What I didn't notice was that over time, his enthusiasm for that goal had waned but mine hadn't. I REALLY wanted him to get his Eagle. I had lots of reasons. He would learn so much from the experience. It would be good on college applications. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt my motherly reputation either, would it?
Well, as I listened (really listened) to him talk to me on the way to Mass, I decided to stop trying to make him into what I thought he should be. Instead, I needed to help him find ways to discover his talents and nurture them, not cram him into some mold I thought was appealing.
As I knelt there praying to God to help me live out this new found realization, it occurred to me that my job isn't to mold my children, per se. Instead, my job is more about recognizing the treasure I've been entrusted with and polishing it so that it can shine.
So, I've decided to change from a nagging mom to a treasure hunter. I plan on focusing more on uncovering the treasure I've been given in my children and helping them to polish it. I'm sure I'll mess up and fall back into my old attitude from time to time but, on the whole, my attitude has changed. And when I do mess up, I'll envision myself polishing the top of my children's heads until they're shiny. That oughta give me a little kick in the pants (and a laugh!)
Off to get my polishing cloth!