The Important Things

Sometimes I have those moments as a mom when I step outside of myself. I look past the floor littered with naked dolls and shoes with no mates. I move beyond the demanding screams for “craaaaackerrrrrrs,” and then past the immediate angry dismissal of said cracker and to a place where I see it all from the big picture perspective of life. These nasty little beasts are actual people, people I’ve been tasked with training, shaping, molding into compassionate, creative, contributing members of society.


That’s a lot of pressure when you think of all they have to learn, especially since two thirds of them still poop their pants.


Not only am I tasked with teaching them how to cross streets, use public restrooms, and ride bikes (thank goodness they’ve got an athletic father, ’cause they’d be on foot for life if it was left up to me), but I have to make sure they hold the door for the person behind them, and cover their mouths, and say please.


On top of all that I’ve got to hit the really important things like the love of Christ, which in and of itself is tough. Because if you give a mouse a Resurrection, he’s going to want an explanation of the Holy Trinity.  Plus there are so many virtues and values to learn: friendship, and the value of servant leadership, for example. We’ve got to cover life and death, respect, integrity, responsibility…


And then there’s science! And nature! And they have to be introduced to really important people like Shakespeare and John Muir and the Brontes and the Beatles!


And then there’s all the fashion stuff like how it’s never really acceptable to wear socks and sandals. There’s that whole thing about not dressing like a slob or a hooker or a slobby hooker. And they have to know that you shouldn’t ever wear pajama pants out in public…unless you’re pregnant, or have a newborn, or are the mother of people who still sleep in Pull-Ups, in which case, it’s totally cool. Recommended, even.


And the movies they have to see! The art! The music!


Plus there’s all the weird stuff we want to teach them. We’ve said from the very beginning that if these kids escape childhood without being nicely warped, we’ll never forgive ourselves.


And we’re supposed to cram this stuff into like 18 years before they go off to wherever it is kids go off to these days and people judge them for not knowing about the garbage TV we won’t let them watch.


It’s all rather overwhelming, really.


So on days like today, when I’m feeling the weight of the lessons left to teach, I just try to focus on the pressing issues. Today we’re going to the Botanical Gardens. We’re gonna kindle the fires of a love of God’s creation and hopefully drive home the message that it’s not okay to shriek at your sister and stop hitting, dammit!


But before we do all that, I’m introducing them to ABBA. ‘Cause if they get to college and can’t sing “Mama Mia” and “Take a Chance on Me,” I’ll know I have failed them.


And, since there’s no time like the present to expose them to great culture, we’re gonna watch this video…for the second time this week:



Are you feeling the pressure, too? What are the top things you’re striving to teach your kids? Or have you already walked this road? What are the most important things we new mamas can’t skip? Help a sister out…and have a great weekend!

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