I am thrilled by many aspects of our family adventure, but none more than what I have seen in my children. They are so hungry to learn and have matured physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I am also impressed with their bravery. They transitioned from a private school of 20+ students to a school with over 900 students and are not only surviving, they are thriving and loving every minute of it.
Jenny and I love being together as a family. Before we moved here, raising kids was one of the many things we did. It always felt like I was waiting for those family bonding moments. This weekend we will do… Soon we will go on a vacation and do… Inevitably it was not what we had hoped for or something came up. Typically, it was some noble task but in the end it resulted in missing that family bonding time.
A new born baby can swim on their own. They know how to hold their breath and propel themselves through the water. They are born with those skills. Adults “teach” the child that water is dangerous and if they fall in they will drown, as a result the child un-learns the skill and later has to be taught how to swim again. I believe that children are born perfectly equipped (personality, natural skill, etc.) to be who they are supposed to be (to feel fulfilled) and we, unwittingly, “teach” them to be something else. Let me be clear, we are not evil or spiteful in doing this. It happens because it takes time to identify each child’s skill and time is a commodity that is in short supply.
When we decided to move Jenny and I both felt that the children would benefit the most. We could see that the school they would be attending is in one of the top ten school districts in the nation and the cultural change would help them be more well rounded individuals. What we could not see, is that the children desperately needed dad and mom around to help them develop the skills that they were born with. I always considered myself a very involved dad, but over the last six months I realized that I did not know my kids. I was good at getting them to and from their events and making sure they ate right, did their homework, stayed on task and had manners, but I did not know them. I was unwittingly leaving their natural talents and purpose uncultivated.
I wish I could say I realized this and made a point of trying to remedy it, but the truth is I only realized it as I began to spend massive amounts of time with them. Then I began to see their passions come out. Passions that were deep within them and had been overlooked by me for so long. One of the things we have developed a habit of doing, thanks to Isabella (she has all the good ideas!), is going around the room telling each other about the character traits we see and appreciate in each other. As we were doing this over the weekend, I realized just how much I have learned about my kids in the last few months and I am excited to make an effort to learn more and reinforce their passions and purpose.