This week is a celebration of life’s greatest nurturers. Nurses, teachers and mothers are given days of recognition for their huge contribution to society. When I think of these professions, I immediately think of children and how much time and care is poured into their lives. Nurses, of course care for all age groups, but looking at their profession, the way they nurture children is through physical care and health. Teachers nurture children through educational growth and being mentors to them. Mothers nurture children in all aspects of life through physicals, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. But, my thoughts this week primarily go straight to the child. I’m a mother, my son just turned eighteen. He’s entering adulthood, but he will always be my child. Motherhood is one of the greatest and most important roles that I have. It’s a hard job, emotionally and physically draining at times. However, children are a gift that cannot be measured or taken lightly. I have grown close to many kids throughout my life, those who are in my family, those who were my sidekicks before I was a mother, and those who I’ve taught or worked alongside of through the years. Each of them has given me something to learn about life and has a huge place in my heart.
Children can teach adults as much as adults can teach kids. I really love kids because they are so transparent and speak directly from the heart and with considerable bluntness. Even the mischievous ones can’t help but tell on themselves, without meaning to. As much as we pour into their lives, they reciprocate just as much into ours. I met a kid last week who was visiting my next door neighbor. I went outside to take out the trash, when the little girl approached me. In my neighborhood, the houses are super close, so we often share visitors without set boundaries. Anyway, she greeted me and asked me my name. I told her and she replied with her name. Her name was really similar to mine. She proceeded to tell me about her parents being split up and in each of them in other relationships, among other little details. The funny thing with kids is that they can immediately spill their life history in less than five minutes, if they feel the need to do so. Anyway, when I came back into the house after our conversation, I started thinking about how she trusted me enough to unload on me and how easily she let me be a sounding board. This instance, made me think of Jesus and how he said in the Bible to come to him as a child. He continues to say; whoever humbles himself like a child is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.
How often in our adult life do we casually go up to God and just unload on Him? How often do we treat Him as the friend He really is? How easily do we trust Him? How quickly do we confess the things that bother us or admit our shortcomings? Anyone who has been around kids for just a little while will quickly hear at least one or two innocent confessions, even it’s in a roundabout way.
So, this week as we celebrate teachers, nurses, and mothers, let us recognize as well how much life children give to us. Listen to them and feed back into them with rich nutrients of life that will help them grow in every dimension of their being. Help them to know that they are valuable and are loved. And remember how much you can learn from them.
Children grow up fast, enjoy every moment with them.
“Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.” Proverbs 22:6
When I think of kids, I always think of this literary piece as well. It’s one of my favorite readings. I had to include it in this blog.
On Children – Kahlil Gibran
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.