Responsibility, respect & kindness…

There are some things that are harder to teach. Struggle with reading? There’s title reading. Struggle with math? Maybe a tutor or some extra time with the teacher is needed. How you interact with others is more tricky. It’s not something that we should expect our schools to teach. It should start at home. (Disclaimer- I’m NOT a perfect parent, I’ve made plenty of mistakes!)

Our kids have been at a new school for 4 months. They haven’t always had an easy time, but last week I felt a huge sigh of relief. We got a letter in the mail for our 8th grader. He was nominated by a teacher for the Alexandria Code of Conduct “Responsibility” breakfast. They honor kids who exhibit their core code of conduct values. He was selected for responsibility. I couldn’t be more proud. In 4 months, he’s shown his teachers he can be responsible. Even when some kids in his group are roudy, he hasn’t followed them blindly. It was the best caramel roll ever.

At the same time, we got the report card for our 4th grader. They get graded on a scale of 1-4, 4 being the highest. He received 4’s in Respect and Kindness. Struggle with writing? I can accept a 2 in writing if there is 3-4 in conduct. For our child with anxiety issues, he has shown his teacher that he’s respectful when she is talking. He has shown classmates his kindness. He has befriended a special needs girl and he goes out of his way to make her feel included. He makes her feel special. He sees her as a person. If we were at our old school, they would say that he’s showing his greatness.

My story isn’t to highlight my parenting skills. I’m harder on my kids than I should be sometimes. I’m also their biggest cheerleader. When they do stuff like this, it makes me think that they will do OK in life. They have they foundation to be good people. They are enough. It reminds me of a Lenten confirmation message… we talked about how God loves us regardless of our gold stars and straight A’s. I explained to the 8th grader that it’s like my love for him. I will always love him… regardless of his grades, how fast he runs or how many fish he catches – he’s my son and nothing could make me love him less. I may get mad or disappointed, but I will always love him. I explained that’s a lot like God’s love – but his is even bigger.

To God, we are always going to be enough. Our lives may deviate from his chosen path, but there is always time for us to get back on track with his plan. Those tests and trials will make us stronger. The people we meet on those detours have something to teach us. May your heart be open to following his journey for you. Peace be with you on your journey of enough. ❤

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