Don't you love to watch toddlers and little kids attempting to imitate what they see adults do? When I play catch with Hamilton, who is two, he not only has a bit of a windup but he has already developed a cool move of hiking up one foot when he sends the ball back to me! He has picked that up from watching his daddy and uncles throwing the football around. Grandson or not, I'm a sucker for things like that! One " Hey Nan " from my grandsons, "Aunt Nancy " from my nieces and nephews, or "Ms Nancy" from children and teens and I'm all about it! Children bring a true view of what the environment they are surrounded by is teaching them, intentionally or not. In one of my previous posts I referred to ways I had adopted some traits of my mom in jest. But in all seriousness, we are the main classroom in our children's lives! I recall when Rebekah was two she began saying " oh my gosh " with a heavy southern drawl on the " gosh " and she learned it from me! It was a phrase I added in numerous situations of conversation. I know it isn't a terrible thing to say by any means but I didn't like the way it sounded coming from my cherub faced child! So I had to break us both from the habit on my part and the new addition to her vocabulary! On a positive note, when she was sixteen, I overheard her on the phone giving advice to a friend about boys and she was repeating word for word a prior conversation she and I had. In my twenty-nine years of parenting I have had multiple opportunities to observe the positive and negative influences our behavior has had on our children. They are watching and listening to us live our lives and will incorporate what they see and hear into theirs! It is natural to assume they are not tuned in to what is going on, I mean they are little kids, right? I am amazed at the details my children remember, think they remember, and talk about when we are all together. We have some serious laughing sessions, especially when we watch one of the twenty-six VHS tapes of Christmas mornings with Bing Crosby singing in the background, birthday parties, school programs, football and soccer games, dance recitals, jumping in piles of fall leaves, the precious days when we had enough snow to go sledding and have snowball fights, the neighborhood talent shows, and the all time favorite question, " Mom are you sure that was in style?". Believe me, they are taking it all in! It begins when they are babies. Think about it, they learn their first words because we have said "mama" or " dada" a hundred times just waiting for that first sound you have been waiting and longing to hear! This summer before Hamilton was two we found him in our
bathroom in Jeff's deodorant smelling it and putting it on! Cute, right? Of course it is cute but it reinforces how even our little ones are
paying attention. Hudson and Hamilton spent Friday night with us so when Jeff picked them up they went straight to the music store to play
the drums. ( Even though he is four Hudson can really play the drums and has been interested since he was two! I'm not just saying that
because I'm his Nan! ). At dinner Jeff said, " Hudson, you really play the drums good! Do you think you might be a worship leader when you grow up?" Hudson replied, " I'm going to be on your worship team, Papa J! ". Whether he does or not, a seed has been planted by watching Jeff play, going to rehearsals with Jeff, having " band time " with his parents and other family members, and being allowed to build and bang on boxes and bowls when Hamilton wasn't napping! The tricky part is we can never be sure when they are tuned in or tuned out or what their interpretation of our words or actions might be. Quite a bit of pressure, huh? You bet it is because once we decide to be responsible for the life of a child it should become top priority in our life for twenty plus years above everything except out relationship with God and our mate! Whoops! Am I preaching here? Hamilton likes to put on Rebekah's shoes or mine sometimes when we are getting ready for the day and there is makeup and blow dryers going like crazy! It's such a funny sight to see his little feet walking in those big shoes! Just think how much he has to learn, starting with which side of the closet he should be selecting his shoes!