I just finished an email to my dad, filling him in on his grandchildren’s summer activities. I started with my oldest son. I came up with 2 things to write about. One: he is taking a college class twice a week from 6-8pm, and two: he works 2-3 days a week at a fast food joint near us. I left out all the other things – like sleeping til noon on the days we aren’t there to wake him up; staying up til 2am playing/designing computer games, and who knows what else… he never comes out of his room, unless he’s hungry or needs something from us.
So why am I stumped? You’ll see.
I next told my dad about my middle two boys – ages 17 and 15. I had even less to say about them. One: they play video games.
Now of course, we strongly discourage this. We leave lists of chores to do while we are at work, and we make them study on khanacademy.org at least a half hour a day, and we cross our fingers that they get them done before we get home. But most days, we find them just starting their chores as we walk in the door. So we go on our daily rant about how it’s important for them to help out at home, and how we work all day for them and all we expect are a few little things in return. Sometimes they hang their head, or apologize, but we all know it’s going to happen again the next day. So I’m not stumped about that.
I am stumped because my 4th child is completely opposite. My paragraph about her went on and on and on. She literally is involved in enough activities for 3 people. She’s attending 3 volleyball camps and 1 science camp. She is in the play put on by our local theater, which requires practice about 4 nights a week until the week before the play when she has practice every night. This doesn’t count the 4 performances they have. Last week she helped out with our church’s Vacation Bible School every morning. She landed a babysitting job 3 nights a week for a 15 month old, because she had the initiative to put up a sign in our little grocery store, AND she finishes any chores we leave her… AND she “fixes” the suppers that I prepare ahead of time for when I work late… AND she arranges rides for herself to all her activities since we work odd hours. AND she is only 12.
I am stumped because I don’t know what we did different with her. Maybe it’s just that she’s a “her”. lol
Maybe it’s because I went back to work shortly after she was born, so she had to fend for herself a little more than the boys ever did.
Maybe it has nothing to do with how they are raised, but more with their DNA.
I don’t know.
I do know that I am ever so grateful to have her. Our family wouldn’t run nearly as smoothly if she wasn’t around. If I need something done, I can count on her… which is a huge relief for me.
I tell her often how proud I am of her. She usually responds with “Mom. You are embarrassing me.” But I want her to know, so I tell her anyway…
after I nag her about how messy her room is.
Ok… so she’s not perfect. 🙂