Toilet Paper Races

IMG_6814So I had this moment today when I realized I often want my kids to be perfect, rather than…well kids. And this happened when they had been quiet for quite a while, and I went to check on them and they were just giggling and giggling.

What I found was them racing toilet paper down the stairs in a giant mess.

And my first instinct was to get frustrated, to tell them to pick it all up. My first instinct was to be a fun-killer. My first gut reaction was I wanted them to be perfect (not playing with toilet paper) rather than kids (people who play with toilet paper).

But I realized honestly – they aren’t wrecking anything really, they aren’t being disrespectful, they are just being two boys playing with toilet paper. And it hit me sometimes in our quest to have our kids grow up well, we expect them to grow up too fast. In our desire to raise them well, we raise the bar too high. Sometimes we forget that seeing a stack of toilet paper to a kid is hours of fun.

So I write all this for one reason: enjoy those moments with your kids, grandkids, or neighbours. Don’t force them to grow up too quickly, acting like adults. Let them be kids and join in a bit.

So I gave them an extra roll of toilet paper, some tape so they could build a ramp, and then helped them clean it up in the end.

Parenting in the Modern Age

I was reading about C.S. Lewis and came across this quote from his wife Joy.

She writes this:

“Provoke not your children to wrath” (Eph 6:4) Easily said; but how are we to avoid it? Strife between old and young seems inevitable. Today the world changes fast and inconceivably fast; in pastoral and agricultural times, what a man knew was of use to his son, but in the industrial age Father’s knowledge is out of date before the son is half grown up…Our problem, then, pending the reconstruction of the world, is to reconstruct our own lives so that we give our children as much warmth and attention and time and teaching as the present world will allow…and let us remind the innumerable Americas who don’t seem to know it that begetting and rearing a family are far more real and rewarding than making and spending money.”

All I can say is that this stopped me and made me think. I also think I’m going to stop blogging for today and go and play and be with my boys…