I'm on a mailing list called Early Childhood Newslink. Every month or so I get an email with a link to new articles and info. One of the links this time was to a blog written by John Funk, an adjunct EC professor and Manager of Educational Programs. His post, There's Always Ice Cream, really made me pause--he reminded me that although we adults often live through experiences with the end in mind (When Christmas vacation comes, I can..., When she sleeps through the night, then I will...), children don't think this way. They live in the moment. Mr. Funk reflected on how this perspective on life must make a child feel when he is stuck in a classroom with a negative, unwelcoming teacher all.year.long. He suspects it feels like being trapped in a cage every day.
While I have often felt sad for children who have to suffer through an entire school year in that environment, what really got to me--convicted me, perhaps--was wondering how often my children have felt like that in their own home. How many times a day do I say, "In a minute," or "Just a SECOND!"? Why do I so often place a higher priority on loading the dishwasher, cleaning up the kitchen, or vacuuming when my kids ask me to play or go outside or whatever? I think, for me, it's because I feel very unsettled when there are messes around me or tasks to complete. But you know what? I have to remember that there will always be laundry, and dirty dishes, and crumb-covered counters, and dog hair all over the carpet, and on and on and on. However, my children will not always be 7, 3, and 1. They won't always want to build legos, or play Wii, or play catch, or go to the park with me. Unfortunately, it's much easier to write this than it is to make myself set the tasks aside and live in the moment. Hopefully, blogging about it will make me a little more accountable.
Please take one minute to read Mr. Funk's post. It was a valuable reminder for this busy mom; maybe it will touch you, too.