As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I learned something today - that any mess can be cleaned up.  Okay, so it's not earth shattering.  In fact, most of you probably already knew that.  I thought I did too.

This afternoon I painted with the kids.  And can you believe that in the six and a half years I've been a mother, I can count the number of times I've done this on one hand?  Occassionally if the little ones were napping, I might be inclined to set the older kids up with some paint while I took care of some housework.  But even that's risky, because as soon as they get up from the table with their paint-filled hands it's a disaster waiting to happen.

A few weeks ago, we started homeschooling our oldest son.  And seeing the artwork he brought home from Kindergarden and his first few months of grade one, I knew I wanted to continue to encourage those same skills at home.  Homeschooling makes it necessary for me to completely schedule my day, and so while I would previously set the kids up with their art supplies and leave them to amuse themselves while I tended to the countless other duties that need my attention (Moms, you know what it's like!), now my job is teacher.  Specifically, from 1:30-2:30 on Tuesdays, Art teacher.

So I did some research, found a simple project, and painted with the kids.  I helped them make outlines, mix paint, and then did some painting of my own.  Long after the older boys had finished and gone off to play, my three-year-old son and I remained - I painting, and he...well...experimenting with "watercolor" (is that what you call it when you paint a picture, and then drizzle your paint brush in water and soak everything you just painted?)  It was so therapeutic for me, because I love to paint and create.  As I looked at the growing mess, I did not feel the need to clean it up right away.  We were having too much fun!  And besides, it wasn't 2:30 yet.

Sometimes schedules can be restrictive, but I'm finding more and more that they are also freeing.  They say, "don't rush away just yet, the time for work will come.  Play with your kids."  I always thought I would be the kind of Mom who just did this intuitively, and yet I allowed myself time and again to be consumed with the daily duties of running a household.  Now, with more on my plate than ever, I am feeling way more in control and at peace in my life.  And it's because I'm spending more quality time with my kids.

I thought I knew that any mess could be cleaned up, but obviously I didn't.  Because I held back on doing so many things with my kids, for fear of making a mess that I would inevitably have to clean up.  Maybe that's why God lead me on this path of homeschooling.  Because He knew I wouldn't want to reach the end of their childhood and say, "I wish I had done more with them."  I'm starting to learn that it's worth it to have a big mess to clean, if you had a good time making that mess with people you love.

I love teaching, learning, playing and creating with my children.  And if things get a bit messy along the way, I say bring it!  The best things in life always take a little extra work.

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