HashBrowns…November 26-30, 2012 Strong Children


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


14 thoughts on “HashBrowns…November 26-30, 2012 Strong Children

  1. Yes!!

    And yes, pots DO boil over. We make mistakes, as parents, as adults, as humans. And I believe that kids need to see these moments, these sides of us, too. They need to see that adults have feelings, too. Adults make mistakes, too. And that it’s OK. There are valuable lessons in mistakes. We must acknowledge them, apologize and find ways to fix what we can. I think helping children grow to be resilient, responsible adults means letting them see these events in us. Albeit in sizes and contexts that are appropriate, haha.

    Slowing down and making space for truly important things certainly makes all of that a lot easier to deal with, it’s hard to take the time to acknowledge and grow from a mistake when we need to be somewhere else in 5 minutes. πŸ™‚

    Happy Friday!!

    • Great insight, Charity. Indeed. Dealing with and cleaning up our own mistakes is a good example for our kids in teaching responsibility…AND a very clear example of what NOT to do in the first place! Hehehe! πŸ˜‰

  2. First, I love this blog! I have a three year old and get such good ideas from what you do with your little ones. I love this post as well. God bless you and the fam!

  3. Yes slowing down is very important in life. Hurrying, or rushing is not the best way of doing things. Things are done better, you feel great, you do more, when you slow down. Thank you for sharing. Best, Mtetar

  4. I read your blog (even though my children are grown and I no longer spend my days as an Early Childhood Educator) BECAUSE of you Arlee. Your words of wisdom are amazing and I look forward to whatever you have to say. I feel honoured to call you my former collegue and my always friend. Love Ya!!!

  5. Where were you when I was raising my children? Oh yeah, you were one of them. You have turned out pretty darn good if I say so myself even though there was no blogs like this for me to utilize. Love you sooo much!!!!

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