In this American Proverb we learn that great things come from small beginnings. When referring to my children this is indeed true. With our oldest son, 20, currently 6’4 and playing football at the Div. II college level, our (biological) daughter, 17, is 5’11 and still growing (she loves tennis & basketball), our (foster) daughter,17, is 5’9 and though we didn’t begin with her from an ‘acorn’ ~ the growth we’ve seen in her is magnificent and then our youngest son, 15, is desperately wanting to surpass his older brother and is seeming to do so, as he is bigger every morning when I see him emerge from his bed.
When we speak of coming from ‘small beginnings’ we don’t only have to be referring to physical size. Our children have grown in amazing ways, way beyond their height! I often take time to explain to them that being an adolescent is an amazing growing time in their lives. I want them to understand that when you watch a baby grow in it’s first year, or a toddler grow from age 2 to 3, it is easy to see physical changes and to see the amazing developmental growth of that little guy or girl. But what about them… What about the adolescent that is growing at that same speed but it is not as noticeable so others forget!
We forget that they are developmentally absorbing all their life’s lessons everyday ~ making connections in their brain, forming ideas, forming identity ~ we forget. We as parents allow them more freedoms but forget that they still need guidance, daily love and daily support (even if they pretend they don’t need it, they do!!). This is how I explain to my children why I may seem different from “Johnny’s mom”… I am very careful to explain my point of view, my reasons for rules, my reasons for caring. Whether they want to hear it or not, I explain WHY we are making the decision we are making in that instance. All my children have always respected my husband and I to the fullest, children learn respect from a very, very early age. Why do they respect us? They respect us because they trust us. Trust begins when your child is born. They begin to know right away by both words and actions if what you say is the truth. This may be a topic for a whole other post… I may be getting away with myself here (I will remember to do a post on creating trust and respect with your children…afterall, you don’t need anything else!!)
I was talking about acorns growing into mighty oaks. They sure do… those little ‘nuts’ become the most amazing, strong rooted individuals you could ever imagine. As teenagers, they begin to nurture you and your spirit if you do it right. Teenagers get such a bad rap, they only mean well and want to do well, but when you’re not understood and you haven’t been taught to trust others and respect others, how do you expect them to act? My children have been taught respect and trust. My children are amazing!! I tell them daily!! And they believe me!!
I am so proud to say that there are days I need to stand in the shade of my ‘mighty oaks’ and they are happy to provide it for me. They were once small helpless acorns and my husband and I have watered them, nurtured them and have been proud to watch them grow! We are so proud!!