This is the SOS text my sister sent to my husband a few weeks ago.
My niece is still trying to get the hang of the ole two wheeler and for some reason she doesn’t want anyone to teach her but her “Uncle Jeeeffff.” (Imagine that said with a cute Liberian accent and you’ve got the idea.) Her obsession with Uncle Jeff started just days after she joined our family and Uncle Jeff showed her his awesome (?) dance moves during an all family dance party. From that moment on… he has been “all-star” status for that little girl.
But lest you feel bad for my brother in law… the list of things that my son would ONLY do for Uncle Ricky is long and deep. Everything from potty training to tying his shoes to learning how to swallow a pill. Jeff and I could have turned seventy shades of purple trying to convince him to do something… but if Uncle Ricky said it… DONE.
That’s just the way it is.
Sometimes… you’re just not the person for the job.
As a mother who narcissistically wants to be THE most important person in my kids lives at all times…(yes… I know…) this is an important lesson for me to remember.
Sometimes, the very best person to teach something to my child… is someone other than me.
And of course I know this. I look back on my life and an incredibly long list of aunts and uncles, teachers and pastors, family friends and youth leaders who spoke something into my life. Each of them with a unique skill or influence. A special voice that was able to influence a place that no one else could. Many times they didn’t even realize the impact they were having. They encouraged an ability. They challenged a shortcoming. They let me be a part of their lives and see how they handled themselves in a variety of situations. They listened when I needed someone to talk to.
And even though I couldn’t ask for better parents – I fully recognize that the sum of who I am is made of not only my family… but of a host of other people who took the time to invest something into me.
So… I ask you… who is investing into the lives of your children? Are you providing opportunities for them to be around people who are shaping them?
Like this guy…
I would move heaven and earth to give my son 15 minutes with Micah Mac. I don’t think I could even begin to express what he means to Charlie.
And this crazy lady…
Who on more than one occasion has pulled my Betty aside and had “Miss Linnea chats” about everything from fear to friendship. (ironically enough… HER mother, Miss Marilyn, was MY girls group leader when I was Betty’s age.)
And this sweetheart…
Who has mentored my daughter in her craft… giving her opportunities to serve but more importantly giving her a front row seat into her own beautiful heart of worship. I pray that Lucy will have the same love for Jesus that Steph has.
And this lady…
Who has an incredibly full plate… and yet serves FAITHFULLY in Dottie’s classes both on Sunday’s and Wednesdays. Most weeks the sole motivation for getting my kid out the door is that she gets to see “Teacher Diane.”
There are times that I’d rather have everyone stay home instead of having to drive them to A-NOTHER activity. And there are times that my mommy-ego is a bit bruised because in a perfect would I wish that they would want to talk to ME about every single thing going on in their lives.
But that’s just not the way it is.
And so – I pray for these incredible people who have a voice in my children’s lives. I try and be diligent about getting my kids around them. And I do my best to give them a glimmer of how INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL I am to them for the investment they are making in my kids. It’s beyond words…
AND I am reminded to look for opportunities to be that kind of voice in the lives of my kids’ friends, my friend’s kids, and any other young person that God brings across my path.
Because sometimes I’m the best person for the job.
And other times… I’m not.