#FamilyFriday | Go Slow and Be Messy

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day, when I came across one of the phenomenal photographers and teachers who I follow, Jody Gray, teaching her 20 month old son how to crack eggs into a bowl. Now, this isn't the first time I've taken notice of their hands-on parenting that we so greatly aspire to. What she had posted with the picture caught my attention. She had read Wess Stafford's book Too Small to Ignore, and this is what she had to say. 

One of the many great takeaways was to bring children along as you live and do life. It may make things go slower or be messier... but that’s how they learn and grow. All that to say, it has really impacted my parenting.
— Jody Gray

Jonathan and I believe that our children should be brought along for, the most part, everything. That's why you'll see Hadassah on a regular basis at the restaurant. She mostly just makes her cheesy goofball smile at all our wonderful customers, many of whom are adopted grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles, but at the same time she's also watching up-close how her mom, dad, and the rest of our great staff work really hard every day. She will grow up knowing the value of teamwork and dedication - and she'll probably be running the place by the time she's 3, haha! However, when I read Jody's comment I realized that, for the most part, I have treated Hadassah as a spectator rather than a part of the team in training. 

The next morning, instead of just making our family green breakfast smoothie for her, I had her up on the counter, putting all sorts of veggies and fruit in the blender, then I let her push the button to blend it. She loved it! Probably because she was able to stuff her face with food as she was doing it! :) But I thought to myself, "this isn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. It's actually quite fun."

Jody's take-away has already impacted our lives, really challenging us to be training our kids rather than letting them simply watch! So I thought I could look up some of others take-aways. (Thank you Google.) Among my search, I found another "duh!" moment for me. 

Every major movement in world history has recognized the strategic importance of mobilizing children. The Nazis had their Hitler Youth bands. The Chinese Communists had their Red Guards. The Taliban in Afghanistan had their madrash schools to instill extremism in the young. The great omission seems to be unique to Christians.
— Wess Stafford

What is this #FamilyFridays all about, and what has it been about from the very beginning?? Deuteronomy 6. Passing our faith down to our children. One group who Wess didn't mention is the Jews. They have been able to continue walking in the Lord for almost 4,000 years, through multiple devastating exiles and horrific pogroms, because of their amazing ability to pass down their faith to their children. As parents we have a dual calling: To lower ourselves to their level, and at the same moment to raise them up to our level, to intentionally shape them into the adults they will be one day. When was the last time I invited Hadassah to come be part of my quiet-time? Studying the Word? Praying? Serving our community?

One final thought. I played The League of Incredible Vegetables for Hadassah. I've never really sat down and watched it before, really really watched it, but this time I finally did (lowering myself to her world!). In the movie, Bob the Tomato talks about how the League has to raise up the next generation of superheroes to take over for them when they're no longer able to protect their beloved cities. Well, there you go. If we don't invite our children up into our world now, then there won't be anyone to take the battlefield when we're no longer able to fight.