The earliest foundations
Foundations are easy to forget when the days are long and the nights are short. It’s easy to focus on getting through the day instead of getting a kid through life. It’s also easy to become tired and weary of the work, the hassle, and the trials. Oh, how well I know!
Rather than looking down the road to where we want this child to be or what we want him to become, we groan at the load of smelly laundry, the pile of food-dried-on dishes, and the unending stickiness on floors. As moms, we forget that we are building a life, and it must be built on solid foundations. The laundry, dirty dishes, and sticky floors are part of building a life on a solid foundation. Doing these things day in and day out teaches our kids about the rhythm of life. They learn about cause and effect, about simplicity and security, and the fact that they are not the center of the universe.
When we forget, it’s easy to slough through and only do things haphazardly. It’s easy to think it doesn’t matter that much because we are not looking down the road. We’re not thinking of foundations – we’re thinking of tiredness and despair. (And wondering when we will ever not be so tired, again.)
Staying the course + keeping strong
Moms, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. You know something? There are days I’m still there when I’ve got some rowdy kids I’m trying to help through virtual school. It’s easier to give a child the answer than to help him figure how out to work the problem himself. It’s easy to forget that if he doesn’t learn addition and subtraction now, he’ll have trouble with multiplication and division later. Then, come time to understand Geometry and Algebra, he’ll be lost because he has no foundation.
Not only does learning how to solve problems now prepare him for future math steps, it also helps a child learn the importance of sticking with a program until he is done. That’s what a kid should take with him from addition and subtraction.
Life lessons on foundations
The day I stood at the counter in McDonalds and helped a teenager count change back to me (because the computers were off), I wondered what adult let him down when he was a kid. He was embarrassed because he had no clue how to give me change. He was also appreciative that I took the time to show him and explain the process without making him feel stupid. I told that story to a child this week. His eyes got big as he took in the scenario I described to him. I wondered aloud why somebody didn’t care enough, or why the child didn’t care enough to want to learn how to do it right. Learning it right would have saved him the embarrassment of needing a customer to teach him how to count back the change in that unexpected moment.
Don’t let a kid tell you it doesn’t matter. Don’t tell yourself it doesn’t matter. It does.
The foundation always matters. It’s more important than the building even though we rarely see the foundation.
Whether it’s in honesty, diligence, work ethic, accounting or accountability, willingness to work, or integrity, it matters. Help your kid get the foundation right and he will be prepared for life.