The other day, this young lady rummaged through her purse for her makeup compact. She then carefully dabbed on "eyeshadow" followed by a careful application of "lipstick." The makeup went back in her purse and she went on her way.
Where did this child learn to do this? I'd never sat her down and taught her the finer points of applying makeup and keeping an organized purse.
When you have kids, the saying is so true: more things are caught than taught. Who knows how many times she's seen me put on makeup or powder my nose and then perch my bag on my arm. At 18 months old, her little brain is soaking in every little thing I do and say. She's taking notes and filing them away for future use.
"Do as I say and not as I do" just doesn't cut it. Children watch and study. And what they see is built into the fiber of who they will become.
The other day this tweet struck a chord with me:
Why is it easy to forget that, as we raise children, we are 'building cathedrals" and not just "laying bricks"?— Dennis Rainey (@DennisRainey) January 16, 2014
Anyone can lay bricks to build a crude structure, but erecting a cathedral takes skill, precision, sacrifice, investment and patience. There's careful consideration taken when it comes to every detail. Cathedrals are built with intent and a specific purpose in mind--to house that which is holy and precious. What's more holy and precious than the lives of the children God has blessed us with? Children are not to be raised haphazardly, but with prayer and purpose.
As this little girl watches my every move, my prayer is that she will walk away with what is good. My hope is that I'm establishing a solid foundation on which she can build a grand and beautiful life. What a disservice we do to our children when we live any old way in front of them and then wag a finger in their face when they repeat that behavior. And how can we expect our children to live grand lives when all they've seen is bottom-of-the-barrel living?
We only get one shot at raising kids and the window is so small. As this little girl slips her feet into my shoes, watches me discipline she and her brothers, and nurture and shape their little lives, I want to remember that they are watching my every move and act accordingly.