If Only I Could Bottle My Kids’ Curiosity and Drive to Learn…

Leigh Ann’s little one doing things by herself

(Contributed by Leigh Ann Jewett. Read about all our writers here.)

My two year old wakes up every day and asks to put on her coat and shoes. She’s very insistent, as two year old’s can occasionally be.

She’s stares longingly out the window and cries when my five year old leaves for school, desperate to follow. She has to see what’s on my screen when I’m working, taste what’s on my plate when I’m eating, hear who is on the phone when I’m talking.

She is never satisfied, which is impressive and exhausting. I’m far too satisfied, really. I should lose weight, but eh. I should do more activities with my girls, but nah. I should put more effort into connecting with my husband, but *shrug*. I have gotten by with doing the minimum in a lot of situations. I read about people training for a marathon or working like crazy to reach some admirable goal and I just keep on scrolling.

But now I have two little ladies in my house who I would not categorize as easy-going. They have very specific ideas about how things should be and are very passionate about making it happen. ‘No’ is the beginning of a conversation, not the end. I think ‘Can you guys chill please?’ But they can’t. They have no chill.

I need some of that fire.

I think somewhere along the way I’ve let accepting things for what they are morph into not caring how things are, and that’s not good. I put high priority on the safety and happiness of my family, making sure everyone knows they are loved. But I’m coasting through on the rest.

Watching them care about everything annoys and inspires me.

My overly-satisfied style does a disservice to my faith. Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness, right? This earth may not be my home forever, but my time here is significant and certainly not to be wasted.

Caring about stuff is hard. Scary even. But I’m confident it will make me a better parent. There will be discomfort and disappointment that I’ve avoided for a long time. But also joy and excitement, and a more meaningful kind of satisfaction.

I love that while parents often teach their kids, we can also sit back and let them inspire us.

Originally Published 6/27/2016

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