Monday, March 3, 2008

Role Playing

We saw the movie Miss Potter this weekend (a biographical movie about Beatrix Potter), and at Luke's request, I am reading a biography of Shel Silverstein, (author of Luke's favorite book, The Giving Tree as well as A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends) No one has written a children's biography of Silverstein, so I told Luke I'd read this adult version and tell him all about it. We only checked the book out from the library a couple of hours ago, but I can already see some similarities in the stories of these two authors/illustrators. They each had a parent that strongly criticized their work of drawing and story-telling.

And my first instinct is to feel sad for them, and to be a little angry at their negative parents. Imagine how much more they might have accomplished with some encouragement. But who knows? Would Beatrix and Shel have done it if they didn't have to fight a little? We'll never know.

It's just interesting, in the context of our weekend, where I've done lots of thinking about that role of mothering again. (I am just a barrel of monkeys, I tell you.) Scott and I were talking about whether or not we're enabling some unwanted behaviors....and then learning the stories of these two very successful people who had to fight to do what they wanted to do do what maybe even God created them to do. Interesting. We don't know what we're doing, really. We don't know what impact our remarks, lectures, conversations, praises, and expressions of disappointment will actually make.

This parenting thing is not done lightly. But I learn more and more each day, it also cannot be done without God's guidance and strength. So, like God told Joshua, we'll "be strong and courageous," and move ahead knowing that God has a plan for each of our children....trying to follow His lead.


Anonymous said...

Maddie read the Shel biography for English class. From reading her paper, she got quite the education. We can't protect them forever, can we.


Sheila said...

Speaking of enabling ( I read your comment on Keri Wyatt Kent's blog)
Emily & I got a 95% on the Queen Elizabeth report!

--julie said...

Hey Karen,
Hmmm, I'm only in the second chapter...I'll have to let you know just what she's learned. It's really a tricky balance between letting them be children and letting them grow up....Can't wait to see you!

And Sheila,
Great job! I think if you saw the projects being turned in lately, you would know that there isn't much enabling going on, if any. They look just like what they are. Projects by a 6th grade boy who would rather tell you everything he knows about a subject.
And Scott reminds me of how much he's learned this year, that learning this kind of stuff comes in flashes of success, and flashes of seeing the old, unwanted behaviors. So, he's making progress.