I love this family of mine.
There's no denying that parenting is work. Some days the work is light and attitude are good. Others, well, others are more taxing, stressful, and make you question every decision you make.
This past week fell into that second category a few times.
It had been a while since we spent the day doing something fun together as a family. There are countless projects around the house that need to be completed and many chores to be done (that seems to be a normal occurrence in a family of 7), but Leighton and I felt that it all could wait another day. We packed up the kiddos for The Henry Ford Museum.
The museum is packed with things to see and do. It is especially perfect for a family that focuses on life schooling and incorporating learning activities into everyday experiences (which could be why we've bought a membership every year since our first visit.)
We had a fun-filled day and learned a lot in the process. While the kids' favorite parts included participating in a car assembly line and the Giant Screen Experience, my favorite wasn't based around an attraction.
The museum hosts a Make Something Saturdays event. The theme for the month of March is drones. The kids were able to see the parts of a dissected drone, learn to fly a drone on a simulator, watch a live demo, and experiment creating their own flying machine and test it in a wind tunnel. They each also got their own whirligig to take home. They immediately ripped open their bag and placed the propeller on top of the straw. The had fun spinning and flying and were surprised at how high these simple toys went into the air.
Over the next few hours, the kids pulled the toys out for a few more rounds of fun before their attention was drawn to something else. In the stroller. Out of the stroller. Up in the air.
During one such time of whirligig fun, a man and his young grandson walked up to us in excitement.
"Where did you get that?"
"Where did you get that?"
I explained where the exhibit was and then related the time that it ended. We happened to be standing under a large clock. 3:30. A half hour too late. Their faces fell as they walked away.
Jake looked at me and said, "He can have mine."
Are you sure? You've been having so much fun with it.
"Yes, I want to give it to him." He searched though our belongings in the back of the stroller and found the sought-after toy. Then I watched my 11 year old run up ahead and hand it to the little boy.
"Thank you very much! Thank you!" There was excitement once again on their faces.
My heart swelled with admiration as I watched that boy of mine walk back to me. And through tear-filled eyes I told him how proud I was of him.
That. That was my favorite part of the day.
He may have given only a small, cheap toy, but he demonstrated a great lesson learned.
You see, I lost track of how many instance in which I scolded him this past week for not being nice. I don't know how many times I quoted Ephesians 4:32:
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Be ye kind.
He loves to joke around, but doesn't always know when to stop. He loves to use sarcasm, but doesn't always use discretion. He loves to tease, but doesn't always understand that others don't find his actions funny.
Be ye kind. Just be kind.
That was our biggest issue last week. That was the area that gave me the most grief.
And then Saturday.
Just when you think you're not getting through, just when you think you've failed, just when you think they don't care, you get a "Saturday."
Friendly. Generous. Considerate.
Parenting isn't always easy, but it is always worth it.
Be ye kind.