A late night shift brought my third born son home from work after midnight this week. Not my favorite shift for one of my children, but he is certainly grown up enough for the hours. It is hard for me to sleep until I know he is home safely.
As if I was dreaming, I could smell the oven on in the middle of the night, for it was 3 a.m. and this mama rarely sleeps through any thing. Shifting my feet to the floor, I groggily make my way to the kitchen to discover the source of my concern.
A blurry-eyed view of a large juicer/steamer boiling with a steady fire beneath, stocked full of grapes piled high was my first view. I literally had to cover my eyes to the dim kitchen light to see a comfortable lawn chair with my son seated with music, a book - right in the middle of the kitchen floor. Watching the steamer harvest our juice for the winter.
“What are you doing son? You need to get to bed. You really don’t need to do this.” ( and what wonder that he knew HOW to do this)
“I know,” he said. ” It will bother me until I see all of the grapes processed, done and on the shelves.” I get that. I do.
And so, he calmly stationed himself there all night until the sun rose the next morning, and he finished two days of working out of our home, and in – without guilt or obligation, but sheer conscientious choice, with diligence, perseverance and concentration.
And this is just grapes. 350#’s of grapes. ( and did I mention that he and his sister picked all of them alone this year as well.)
When does loving your children, serving your children, investing in your children and training your children turn the tide of reaping and sowing?
From the beginning. The peeks at diligent character and persevering in the hard things will show up when we least expect it at parents. ( even at 3 am in the morning.)
It is not with harsh commands, a serve-me attitude or mind-set that we teach our children to work together as a family. It is not about getting the work completed at any cost, or working 24 hours a day without any job, and countless reminders and painful strains on relationships.
It is not those things.
So, what really brings a desire to serve the family when no one is watching? Where does the motivation and the aptitude come from in an almost grown young man to out his best foot forward and follow through with a job that will ease the burdens of others? How does a child grow to an adult with a work ethic of honesty, integrity and commitment?
Perhaps you are just wishing to know the answer to: “When will my child even begin to show a little respect and motivation for the simple tasks in life?”
And so we begin a series together here on the grit, the grime, and the gumption to train our children towards responsibility, diligence and integrity.
You would like to teach your children a little “stick-to-it-tiveness?” Stop back tomorrow – but, in the meantime -
“Stop waiting on your children.”
They might have to show some initiative today.