Tonight I was thinking how we people really are unique. We are not born with a great number of instincts like our animal friends (and I use the term friends loosely because our choice of household pets has never been what you would call successful). Why, we don't even know when to come in out of the rain!
I was thinking about this because I was realizing that the number of things we teach our children in the short time they are under our care and guidance must be beyond counting. Everything must be taught and learned. A current lesson in our household is that there are certain things that can and cannot be thrown.
As sane adults, we know that the only things that ought to be thrown are balls, Frisbees, javelins...and the occasional hissy fit--oh wait, I said sane. At any rate, we never have to wonder if we ought to throw the sharp jagged, or heavy, or precious object in our hands. We know that we should not because we have been taught by our parents that we should not.
In the hands of my sweet, precious, miracle of a boy 2-year-old, anything is a projectile! He will be sitting quietly and contentedly and then, whizz--an object flies across the room! So we teach him, "The only toys we throw are balls, not people toys, not expensive electronic toys, not heavy wooden toys, not coins, not food, not...well you get it.
Sometimes we laugh behind our hands right before we tell him, "No, we only throw balls," in our most serious voice. I realized we laugh because this is the easy stuff. The millions of things we teach them in early childhood by example, and by the natural course of conversation, and by play, and by a look or a touch, these things are easy (but only because our parents taught us first). It's later on when we have to teach the hard, thought-provoking, grown-up things that our skills as parents are really put to work.
So my thought was just this, I am SO thankful for the early childhood times of teaching and learning. God gives us all those years of practice to get prepared for the hard stuff of adolescence and beyond. I really am thankful for that blessing.
So my last little thought is this, if the early stuff is so easy, why do I still fail at being the perfect parent to my toddler? For now I will just keep being thankful for my first thought!