When I sit down to write the weekly HashBrowns, I usually start by looking through my photographs to find one that sparks something in me at that moment; something that reflects how I’ve been feeling throughout the week. Once I have chosen the image, I set about finding an inspirational thought or quote that fits the photograph and my thoughts well. Then I start to write.
This week it was all backwards. I heard this quote,
“It is easier to build strong children, than to repair broken men.”
Such a simple sentence carrying such a profound message. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It speaks a truth I could not ignore. It reminded me of simple baking/cooking advice my mother gave me growing up… that if I cleaned up while I went along, I wouldn’t have such a mess to deal with in the end. To this day, I still put each spice jar, dirty spoon, mixing bowl, and potato peel in its proper place before I continue to the next step in my recipe. Thanks, Mama.
So I know I can take care of a kitchen, keeping it running smoothly throughout the cooking process. Big deal. The real question is, can I do the same for my children? Can I get them through their childhood without missing a step and falling down along the way? Can I carry them safely through to adulthood without a big ol’ mess to clean up when they finally get there? Am I building strong children? These are questions I don’t know the answer to.
My oldest daughter is becoming an official adult this weekend. The big 18. She is capable, responsible, creative, and smart. I would describe her as strong. (Maybe even a bit feisty if needs be.)
So that’s one. For six.
I have a whole long road ahead of me.
The best I can do is one dish at a time, handling each one with the utmost care as to not drop any along the way. This sounds easy enough. But you and I both know kitchens are busy…pots boil over, pancakes need flipping, the oven timer often goes unheard, and fires happen. Sometimes the chaos of parenting gets the better of us.
The only solution I can see to mastering the art of multi-tasking, is to simplify. When there is less to keep track of, there is less margin for error. Decide what is important and vital to my family unit and eliminate or reduce the rest.
Slow down the machine.
Cuddle more, read together more, and stop scheduling the heck out of everyone and everything. And more often than not, ask my children what it is they need from me at that very moment. I cannot always assume to know what they need, as their little selves are constantly growing and changing. And I’m not saying I should give my children whatever they ask for. That’s just silly. If I had everything I ever asked for as a child, I’d be a flying, teleporting, nurse, marine biologist with a Xanadu cape, roller skates, rotten teeth, and a really bad Dorothy Hamill haircut. Oh, and I’d be a spoiled brat.
What I guess I’m saying is just to slow down and take care. Handle each step one at a time, and try not to skip a few just to get there faster.
Strong children. That’s what I want.
And it’s what the world needs.
Thanks for stopping by!
~Arlee, Small Potatoes