As I write this, summer is coming to an end. If listen closely you can hear the kids groan as they think about going to school and you can hear some parents cheer when they imagine their children’s energy being spent on something other than picking on their siblings and destroying the house.
Summer is especially relished in the homes of those of us who have a teacher living there. Jamie has really enjoyed her summer off. She and the kids have enjoyed some much needed quality time together going to the pool, visiting family, and especially the early morning (hopefully not too early) CCCK (Custer’s Coffee, Cuddles, and Kisses). We have enjoyed vacationing together as well as some late nights eating ice cream and watching American Ninja Warrior and Battle Bots. Both Hannah and Luke learned to ride their bikes this summer and they have loved it.
When we went school shopping last week, which I lovingly refer to as my Kryptonite (nothing else sucks the power from my soul quite like shopping), I went into a shoe store to help Luke pick out some new kicks. Luke may hate shopping more than me but it’s close. He hesitantly thought about some Adidas shoes and then he moved on unpassionately to some Nikes, but then he saw some blue Asics that suddenly he got excited about. “I want those! I really want those!” He said. “These look just like my running shoes Buddy.” I answered. “Yeah daddy, I want those.” Luke and I have blue Asics now.
The next day I was getting ready to go for a run. Luke was playing Skylanders, which usually means he is oblivious to the world. But when he caught a glimpse of me in my blue Asics he declared, “I want to go running daddy!” I was a little surprised but I said, “Ok, come on.” He strapped on his blue Asics and we ran down the street for about a half mile and that was all the blue Asics bonding time he wanted.
This moment reminded me of something both crucial and rudimentary. My son is influenced by my choices and wants to connect with me through what I have and what I do. Besides the shoes, I am reminded of all the other areas in my life, like my character, that he emulates. If I want my kids to be the right kind of people I must be the right kind of person. I believe that the best curriculum for raising healthy, mature children is the life of a healthy, mature parent. I know that Luke will eventually stop wearing the same kinds of shoes I wear, but I hope he and Hannah will always wear the love, and the healthy values that Jamie and I imperfectly and humbly attempt to clothe them with through God’s grace.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” –Colossians 3:12