Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Spreading Wings

"The home is the laboratory of our lives and what we learn there largely determines what we do when we leave there. " President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, November 1988

I remember hearing a talk by a sister who supported this statement by Pres. Monson. She specifically spoke about the importance of the things that hang in our children's rooms. She had two sons. In one room, she hung planes, pictures of planes and plane wallpaper. In her second sons room, she put up boats. Nowhere to be found was a picture of the Savior, a picture of temple or any kind of religious picture. Her first son turned out to be a pilot and her second son joined the Navy. Neither stayed active within the church. Her sons saw boats and planes in their rooms every day of their lives. How could that NOT affect them she now tells people.

As my children have left the nest and are now spreading their wings, I have thought about this statement from Pres. Monson. What are my children doing in their lives that they learned in the laboratory of our home? There have certainly been "experiments" that have exploded in our faces and things that obviously didn't work. We learned by trial and error until we found a "theory" that rang true and then we implemented.

Here are my feelings as to some of the things that our children learned in the laboratory of our home:

1. First and foremost, a love of the gospel.

2. Our house was the house to hang out at. We had parties, game nights and when there was a day when there wasn't seminary we would have breakfast parties for our non-member friends and make pancakes, waffles and their personal favorite - scones! We never get together with Grandma and Grandpa without playing games. We are game playing fools!! This has definitely been carried on in the life of my oldest daughter. Her bachelor's degree is in Recreational Therapy and Youth Leadership. The book that she wrote that will be out in December is about games that you can play that will strengthen your family. She is just about to get a job at a facility for troubled teens (I just KNOW you will!) as a Recreational Therapist where she will direct activities and then process as to how these teens can apply the lessons learned into their lives. I would say that this part of our home life largely determined her future career.

3. My youngest daughter is studying Cultural Anthropology. Growing up she and I had a special love of nature shows, wildlife shows, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and one of our favorites Man vs. Wild. We loved to see the different countries, their cultures, their legends and wildlife that was indigenous to that area. Hubby traveled quite often and on the nights that he was gone, I would let this daughter stay up late with me to watch National Geographic. My polynesian princess daughter is half Tongan and my DH and I have felt that it was very important for her to be raised knowing her culture. She has taken hula for many years and is an accomplished dancer. She now wants to study the social culture of societies and travel the world. This love of nature and people has definitely determined her course of study.

4. My son is probably the hardest to determine at this moment in time. The thing that stands out foremost in my mind probably has to do with service. As a family, we tried to take advantage of any and all opportunities that we could to serve others. Memories include adopting families at christmas, yardwork, snow shoveling, free babysitting, dinners, etc. How grateful we are that our son chose to serve the Lord by serving a mission. We shall see what he will take from our home when it comes time to decide on a career.

Sometimes we as the mad scientists (parents!) look upon our children as lumps of clay that we must mold into what we want them to become. I like to look at them more as seeds and that is our job to nourish and nurture and help them become what they are meant to become.

What do you hope your children will take from the laboratory of your home?

19 comments:

cookingsherri said...

I am so glad I get to learn from you! One of the things I took from our family is that hanging out with famiy is the most fun ever. I hope my kids will have as many rich family memories as we do!

Carly & Tyler said...

You always have such great posts that make me think! I hope that as a new mom and continuing on that I can instill in them the love of their mother and their Savior! We all have agency, but I hope they can know more than I do! Thanks for all your ideas and thoughts! You're a great mom!

Jan said...

Love this so much. I totally agree with you. I think your kids sound as though they have taken on the things that matter to them and you and the Savior. What a blessing.

I hope that my children will look at the services rendered to others and also the skills that are taught around them, and feel very capable of doing things for themselves and others. And just to love unconditionally and that means themselves too.

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

MERRIANNE said...

AMEN sista!!! I hope my children will gain thier own Strong Testimonies of the Gospel and never feel like i forced them into Religion. :)

kitchenditcher said...

Sherri - Isn't family the best? And it's also the best when our young ones LOVE being with their family!!

Carly - So glad to hear from you. You will be a GREAT mom!! My kids definitely know more than I do!

Jan - Isn't it so important that our kids feel capable? I loved that thought. Very empowering.

Merrianne - It is a very satisfying feeling when our children go to church and make righteous decisions because THEY want to!! I know your children will have a desire to follow your example!

da Bergs said...

You have been so blessed... you are a good mommy!

Mechelle said...

Good reminder. My boys have dinos on scooters in their room. They do have a picture of Christ, but I think I will be changing things in there. What a great post.

You are a good example and a great mom! Thanks for the post. Wonderful.

COMcewens said...

Great post Deb, made me think.... sometimes we think of experiences as a failed experiment, in reality it is just a learning event to try again, in a different way!

Jennifer H said...

I hope my children learn what sorce they can turn to for peace and truth. All else will fall into place.

The Motherboard said...

I agree 100%! What you put on the walls of your home is what your children will think is important.

I loved this post! Thank you for reminding me be conscience in my kids lives.

Lisa said...

I couldn't agree more! I know I have definately made some adjustments in my parenting just from my 1st two children to my next 3. I often whine about a lack of a manual but on the other hand there is something so satisfying about an "experiment" that you worked hard on and having it turn out great! And I am really grateful to have the words of Prophets to comfort and guide me. Also for the awesome world of blogging and the people out there like you who are willing to share their wisdom!

Grandma J said...

Wow! I just took a minute and caught up on your posts...they are amazing, (as are you...BTW Happy Birthday to you!!) Thanks for sharing your great insights, isn't being at this stage wonderful for introspection? Just enjoy..when the grandbabies begin, you'll be consumed!!

COMcewens said...

I have an award for you on my blog, come claim it when you get home!

COMcewens said...

I have an award for you on my blog, come claim it when you get home!

Redhoodoos said...

Great post. Loved it. You sound like such a wonderful, loving mother. I've always wanted my kids to feel safe and secure in our home. I've wanted them to be able to just be themselves. I want them to feel the Savior's love and know he is always there.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage said...

What an important and thoughtful post! You've given me a great deal to ponder as I go into the weekend. Thank you!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

WisAndGrif said...

Hi Debbie! I'm showing my mom how to comment.
Love Brynne

Beeswax said...

Wow. I hope my kids know that we love them and think they are the bee's knees (or the beeswax's knees. But beeswax doesn't have knees, so that won't work.) My Dad told me I was the best all the time, and even when I became a teenager and thought he was wrong, it still helped to know SOMEONE out there actually believed it. When parents show this sort of adoration, I think it is a type of how the Lord feels about us. They can see the good and the great potential in us, that we can't even see in ourselves.

I have passed my love of reading on to my kids. We have a house full of little book nerds, and I couldn't be prouder.

da Bergs said...

arent you back YET?? I MISS YOU

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