From the song “Getting to Know You” from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical, The King and I:
It’s a very ancient saying, but a true and honest thought,
That if you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught.
That line has been going through my head lately, as I think of my roles both as a teacher and as a parent. Having children has taught me so much, and I likewise learn so much through and from my children.
I’m realizing that the time has come for me to learn another very important lesson. I need to learn to be more organized around the house. Not only would this make life easier for JJ and me, but I need to do it for Lyd’s sake.
In Kindergarten, she is learning to be organized, to put things away, to start and finish projects. She is excelling at being organized — at school. She has most definitely NOT learned this lesson from me, and it is not being put into practice at home. However, I want to support what she is learning at school. I want to provide her with opportunities to continue learning those same lessons at home, that reinforce what she’s learning at school, that will hopefully give this behavior at least a chance of becoming a lifelong behavior.
Therefore, I have to be willing to change my life to enable her to live the life I want her to learn to lead. Specifically, I have to learn to be organized.
For example, I could tell her to put away her clothes once she takes them off, or even to put away her clean clothes once they’re folded. But, considering that for the last four months, the state of her room has been one of perpetual random clothes piles, that kind of behavior is not possible. All those piles are my fault. I cannot blame them on her. It’s an unfinished organizational project, and no one can do it but me. She can’t be organized because I am not organized.
So, while I won’t be organized for myself (as I’m too lazy and too much of a procrastinator and I personally don’t really care if things are organized or not), I am at the point where, as a parent, I am realizing that I cannot let my daughter grow up that way. I want her to grow up in an orderly household. I know I will never be perfect and our household will never be perfectly organized, but I need to try harder than I am now.
It’s for HER sake and Curious J’s sake, not mine or JJ’s (even though he’s been after me to organize things for a long time, too).
Children make us grow up. Children inspire us to be the best that we can be. Children teach us lessons that can be learned in no other way.
I thank God for my children.
PS. This story? Absolutely true. 🙂