St. Luke’s member, Linda Proctor-Moore retired last November from a career of 46 years as a teacher, school administrator, coast to coast consultant in reading and math, and a six-year stint as an accreditation officer checking on compliance of public schools in south central and eastern part of Oklahoma. Parents, here are some words of wisdom from one who’s been there!
The summer went so quickly. I’m sure you can relate also. We began with family time at Kanakuk Kamp Kauai and are ending with five grands at Camp Nonna and Papa. So, here are some takeaways from Nonna, Miss Linda or whatever else I am called.
Children are blessings from our Creator. They came through us and must be strong because of all the paces we as parents put them through; and they are survivors, despite all we do!
Last night Trey, our 11-year-old grandson, was so frustrated. He and his family just returned from a week at the beach, ending with deep sea fishing. He learned a lot and had a great time. So, he arrived at Nonna and Papas ready to catch the biggest fish he can at Lake Hefner! Quite a contrast! Well the rod and reel had some resemblance to the larger gear on the deep-sea fishing experience and that was where the pleasures of an experienced guide turned into a nightmare of sorts when the new spinning reel became balled up with the line over, under, around, above, below… A tangled mess! Oh, the tears flowed as the frustration mounted with each minute. So eight-year-old brother, Aidan, stepped in to find how to fix the tangles by going out to YouTube (because you can find just about anything on YouTube) . Papa just sit back and told the 11-year-old not to worry because they would go to get expert help at Cabela’s tomorrow. Papa‘s idea was to seek help from the expert. Now enters Nonna, the encourager, reassuring him that this experience is why we are here on earth to learn lessons and be able to help and serve another person at some time who has the same problem we have had. But the tears continued to flow! Finally, eight-year-old brother borrows a phone and FaceTimes his daddy and shows him the snarled mess. Daddy, through the miracles of technology and FaceTime, takes one look and said, “Cut the line and re-thread”.
How does this relate to starting the school year? Well this is a new year. Your child has had experiences from which to draw on, as they will b
egin learning new concepts. Some connections from previous times will be easily made and the transition will be smooth and seamless. And new experiences may look like previous learning, but they will require patience and endurance to learn the new concept. There will be new frustrations with each new phase of learning.
It has taken me a lifetime to realize it’s the frustrations in our lives that develop our character and mold our values. As parents and grandparents, we must be willing to guide, encourage, and redirect frustrating times for kids.
Trey wanted to completely give up and cry. Papa wanted him to be patient and just relax. Nonna suggested breathing deeply and regrouping and realizing there’s a bigger lesson here than just untangling a mess. Aiden, little brother, wanted to rescue and offer help and assistance. And Daddy just wanted to cut to the chase… Literally!
All were great approaches, and God was in it all. You see we all carry God within us when we are committed to Him. It takes us all working together offering our experience, strength and hope to help our kids and our grands by being available to allow for their frustrations. Frustrations are good experiences we all need. How many times has God allowed His people to wrestle with issues they have brought upon themselves or just happen to be in the wrong place at a time, that may be right or wrong depending on how one perceives the situation! He never leaves us nor forsakes us in our tangled messes when we reach out to Him.
It’s morning! Trey was up at 5:30 ready to face another day. Papa was up and ready to head back to Lake Hefner. The snarled mess is awaiting a trip to Cabela’s this afternoon. And Nonna handed her new, less expensive Walmart version of low tech fishing gear over to Trey. I kissed him and told him to go put his special mojo on my pole. After all, Trey was the only one who caught a fish yesterday the traditional way, so I am hopeful. Aiden, on the other hand, soon tired of rebaiting his hook yesterday and headed down to the shoreline where he found a huge whopper of a dead fish by the water. He and grandgirl, Ellie, retrieved it with a sturdy portion of a branch and grossed everyone out.
Now this brings up another idea for starting the new school year. Let your children be explorers of their own interests rather than being little clones of us. Each child is unique and wonderfully madeby our Creator. Some are natural athletes, others explore how to do things differently than we did, others are natural born servants giving their time and energy to people and pets around them and still others are singers, dancers, actors, gymnasts, writers, artists, listeners, best friends and the list goes on and on. You see, each one of God’s children is gifted! Each day as I write out my gratitude’s, I thank our Lord for grandchildren -all my five and everyone else’s.
Oh, Lord, open our eyes to see how You are in all our tangled messes of parenting and grandparenting. Bless all parents, grandparents, kids and teachers as the new year begins. Thank you for letting us experience life and remembering You are always there to help us at just the right moment. Amen