My kids are FAR from perfect. Please hear me say that! Those of you who know us well, or have even followed along on face book this week, know that I will be the FIRST to tell you my kids aren’t perfect. This is a direct reflection on the fact that their parents are far from perfect. Apple to tree ratio again.
I watch kids a lot. I’m around them all day at my job, I volunteer with kids at church, I follow my kids to all of their sporting events which are made up of kids, and I have my own. I watch kids a LOT.
I see good things, bad things, and just things in general. Sometimes kids surprise me, sometimes they prove me right, and sometimes they’re just there.
I shouldn’t. I definitely shouldn’t admit to it, but I am by nature a teller of truth. I judge kids. By their actions, by their words, by their attitudes…I do. I watch kids a lot, and I “size them up” as I watch.
Here’s how my kids rate in comparison: my kids are different. They just are. My kids don’t worry about the same things as other kids. They don’t work as hard at the “things” other kids strive for. They don’t think they’re any better than anyone else, but they expect to be treated equal to everyone else. They don’t measure they’re success by how well they compare to someone else. They don’t rate their fun by who else is doing the activity and how high it rates on popularity.
My kids aren’t typical. Again, don’t hear me say they’re better than other kids, they just aren’t typical.
My kids want to improve, do better, at the things they do. They don’t necessarily have the drive to be the best. Drives me NUTS! I want them to WANT to be the best at something…to strive with every ounce of being to come out on top. Neither of my kids have that drive. I don’t choose to play every game, but when I do choose to play, I play to win. Why don’t my kids play that way? I don’t know.
My kids stick up for other kids even if it means they’re looked down on or get in trouble themselves. In some instances, my kids pick up “strays”, you know, the people everyone else tries to avoid. Not necessarily the gross kids or the mean kids, just the left out kids.
My kids expect to be treated as well as everyone else. And they get their feelings hurt (like everyone else) when it doesn’t happen. They don’t understand that “fair” is simply a concept, not a rule.
My kids don’t want to be “like” someone else. They’re proud of who they are and don’t see any reason to be anyone else. They despise being told to try harder to be more like so and so.
My kids enjoy life as it comes to them…they have as many opportunities as I can afford them. They recognize that they are blessed while others seem to struggle just for food, shelter, and clean water. They think about others (maybe not their parents, but others) just as much as they think about themselves. They’re willing to serve (again, not at home) those who are considered “less” than them, and are excited to do it.
My kids don’t feel limited by their environment. They know that life exists all over this great world, and that we’re not tied to one location by birth.
Lately I’m concerned as I watch my kids in relation to others. They don’t fit in. They’re different. They’re the oddballs. And I wonder, is it my fault. Have I raised my kids in way that has been a disservice to them socially?
We have raised our kids to be different. To be the individuals God has called them to be. To not care what others think about them. But some days I just want them to fit in, to be part of the group, to feel like they belong. And I wonder, if my choices have ostracized my kids.
Then scripture pops in my mind:
Romans 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
And I am reminded that we are called to live in the world, but not be of it. We shouldn’t “fit in”, we should stand out. So, even though it seems hard to watch at times, I must remember that my kids aren’t typical and that’s a GOOD thing!