The baby seems to have dropped his morning nap. The delightful three-year-old is painstakingly dropping his one and only (still very much needed) nap. In six short months the six-year-old will be in school all day. Last night the eight-year-old took it upon himself to read to his three-year-old brother and then put him to bed - and he was successful.
All my boys are growing up. Sniff. Sigh. A tiny piece of me is nostalgic but the rest of me just loves the move the boys (especially the older two) are all making toward independence and responsibility. What I am finding as we slowly enter this new season is that our roles as parents are changing. The mother-hen, nurture, keep-em-close, protect their world role I have had is giving way to a you-can-do-it mentality (thank you, Ryan, for pointing this out to me). At home, they need to be trained and expected to do more and more things for themselves. As they increasingly face the world on their own, I must create create an atmosphere in our home that is safe for them to synthesize what they encounter out there.
I am hungry for wisdom and resources - and I have found one recently that I think will help equip both Ryan and I for this new season (and it informs parents in the preschooler-season as well). It is a Parenting DVD series that I am previewing for our church and hoping to offer to other families in the fall. (I thought I would tease you fellow C-stoners a little bit...) My favorite concept so far has been this: It is one thing to want to do a good job raising kids - to have well-behaved kids who know their Bible and know how to act in church. It is another thing entirely to raise great kids who are all that God intend for them to be as adults. The two can go hand in hand, but the second one can also be missed, especially in a home that relies too heavily on either legalism or license.
I am excited for what the Lord has for us in this new season - and anxious to share what I am absorbing with my friends!