My son wanted to take a photography class at our homeschool co-op this year. He's been interested in photography for a while now. Ever since the class he has been enthusiastically running all over the yard camera in hand, posing his siblings, learning about all the intricacies of his camera, and studying how to upload the pictures to the computer in addition to the class website.
Watching him explore this new found love of his, well it's hard to describe. These moments of parenting are somehow unexpected. And it occurs to me that each of these people that God has planted in my home - they will go in their own directions. Their foundation will begin here in this house with what they see, hear, and practice, but eventually they will discover their own path.
One of my favorite books is Love and Logic. It speaks to Encouraging Creativity in Childhood.
"Childhood is the time when the entrepreneurs and inventors of the future really start to bloom. Parents encourage this by showing excitement around their child's areas of strength. These are the years of exposure to the wonders of the world - exposure to museums, art shows, plays, and dinner theaters. Whatever the child is exposed to, it is most effective if the parents are excited about the experience too. Whatever activities the parents experience with joy, in the company of their children, the children take up with relish and, after a time, usually become absorbed in it without parental input."
It goes on to say,
"In summary, show excitement about how things work, do things with your children, become excited about what they and you discover and you will probably raise self-motivated, curious, and creative children."
Love and Logic is all about allowing your children to make their own decisions and grow up confident in who they are and what they can do. It's about handing over the reigns to your child and not assuming that you have to do everything and make every decision for them, because really mistakes are the cornerstone for growth and learning. Letting your children take the lead is better for character building. Staying nearby and being available is essential, but resisting the urge to step in and take over is the premise.
I watch him grow, learn, discover. I notice as bit by bit he seeks to move further away from me and closer to the adult that he will become. It's bittersweet. I'm excited to see this boy become a man, and yet I remember the baby he was.
This time that I have him here in this house is the basic groundwork for the person he will become. Allowing him to determine the things he loves and supporting his choices will go far in the relationship we have in addition to helping him develop interests and passions for the future. I cannot wait to see who God turns him into.
I took this picture of him,
while he took this picture.
And, it seems to me that I can see God right there, present, watching, and encouraging my boy.