Monday, August 25, 2014

Finding Joy in My Homework

This week my middle two finished up their first week of school, grades 1 & 3.  On Friday, JR's teacher sent home a homework assignment for the parents to complete.  In one million words or less, I was to tell the teacher all about my child.  I had a week to complete the assignment and my correspondence would be kept in strict confidence.  

Upon receiving the homework my husband handed it directly to me.  There was no question that I would be the one completing the assignment.  After the kids were tucked in I settled in to the desk and began to just write about my son.

It was bliss.

Rarely do we have the opportunity to just write, unrestrained, about one of our children.  I share stories from time to time, but I don't just gush about my kids.  Who does that?  Well I admit I did do that for a little while when I was a new mom.
 After having my first child, a child-less (male) relative said this "You know how there are those people who go on and on about their dogs? Well you are like that with your son".  It was harsh, but he is family and I always appreciated the honesty.  Since then, I have modulated a bit of what I say and to whom.  

But in this assignment, I was instructed to tell all about my guy - his likes, dislikes, his challenges, favorite ways to learn, health concerns - what ever.  It was so much fun to talk about his passion for soccer and his love for babies.  His tenderness and his temper, his tendency to smile when uncomfortable and anxious.  His inquisitive mind and attention to the world around him.  

It gave me such peace to know that the teacher would have all that information in the back of her mind as she spends this year engaged with him.   It is such a great reflection on her as a teacher as well - she wants to know these children.   Although this could have been done by any teacher at any school, I can add this assignment to the list of things I love about Catholic Education (read here)

It gave me great joy to spend 45 minutes just thinking about who this young man was - to really put into words his character.  

When was the last time I sat for 45 minutes and contemplated just one of my children? There was so much joy in reflecting on what a great kid he is becoming.  It was also helpful to reexamine the areas where we need to keep nudging him along towards holiness.  

So I challenge you.  Sit down and just think about your kids.  Write them a note, or write a note about them to tuck into a baby book or keepsake box for later.  They will cherish it someday, and the process will bring you to cherish that child even more.

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