Anxious to get started on their "building and testing" at Legoland, they motion impatiently for me to catch up to them. Baby in hand (big 2 year old baby) I arrive, breathless, excited to fulfill my role as "Guardian" of my children, so they can be safely ushered into the building room.
I rest a along a wall while my children hurriedly whip about the room finding the right pieces to construct their dream car; I find myself reflecting.
Guardian, a word I have seen on many forms, signed many times as the official guardian of my children. And with it, all the connotations of that word began to come to me.
Stand Guard. Protect. Watch Over. Stand at Alert at the Gates. Guard Constantly. Care for. Nurture. Provide Care for a Minor who as such, is Not Yet Capable of Managing Themselves.
That is what a mother is, a guardian. I am: one who protects, who stands at the gates, who remains alert, who manages my under 18 year old minor children who can not yet manage themselves. That is what every mother is, a guardian.
So, why is it, so many mothers, are not guarding their minors, not protecting their children, not sitting at the gates and monitoring who comes in? Don't they know it will leave their child exposed, unprotected, in harms way?
And who does come in?
Well, television and computers bring incredible images that stick with a child for a long time. Advertising in magazines and educational videos that cause a child to unnaturally crave superfluous items are a terrible force on our young. And of course, we are afraid of perfect strangers, who pose less of a threat statistically, thank the Lord.
These obvious threats aside, what are we to protect our children against? For what should we be on guard?
A friend posted an uplifting article on bullying. In it, a perfectly adorable 7 year old is being bullied for using the wrong cup, the socially unacceptable cup. I know! Don't get me started.
I was so irate on the triteness of peer social trends and the enormous energy a family must invest in caring about it, plus the permanent damage on a child's soul that occurs in most schools starting as young as preschool!! However, my just anger alerted aside, there was an amazing anecdote in the story. And it came in the form of a mother; an attentive, live giving, guardian of a mother.
She first noticed her daughter didn't want to carry her favorite cup to school anymore. Second, took the time out of her busy day to converse with her child concerning the changed cup. And third, blogged and advocated at the school for her child's freedom to "express herself" aka carry an "unpopular" cup to school. And yes, I see the wasted energy here, and yes, I home school to avoid the needless pain over silly fad following children and the endless pressure they exert toward every child conforming to arbitrary standards in large institutional settings.
So, yes, the freedom to think on your own and draw creative conclusions to life's issues aside. I was very proud of the mama in this story. And I hoped that more mothers would be like her.
We are not only to raise obedient children with manners. They step into the world as young ladies and men. We guard them in preparation for success with their sweet attitudes and respectful ways. But we are also to make sure, that along the way of growing up as good citizens and academically challenged youth, there are not impediments to their natural and God given talents, uniqueness, and ways of being.
God has called them to be who they are, and intuitively, they know this. When they step up to new challenges, they need encouragement and every-step-of-the-way opportunities, to gain independent competencies. They do not need: teasing, discouragement, distraction about pointless peer obsessions, or bullying.
Are you a guardian of each of your children? Are you watching at the gates that no one enters unheeded? Are you guarding their very souls with encouraging words and deflecting the discouragement that often comes at the hands of peers? Are you raising a child of character, and thus guarding them for their future success in business and relationships?
You can begin to do more so today. Take a moment, sit with your child. Do it again tomorrow. Find the sore spots and the unprotected areas, and then, shore them up! The arrows of the enemy are strong, and only those strongly defended, by their guardians, can protect them against penetration!
Be God's expression of a guardian to your children: Psalm 12:5
"Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will protect them from those who malign them."