At my church, there are a remarkable amount of kids. Everyone jokes and says not to drink the water, because there must be something that makes everyone extra fertile. I think between work and church I know at least 7 couples expecting a child.
The weekend before this, I was around a lot of kids and was just reminded of how great they are. Here’s why…
Remember that show? Art Linkletter (and I think at one point Bill Cosby did it too) would ask kids a question and they would record the responses. If you want to check some of it out go here:
I find that kids I know say the same kinds of things. I won’t use anyone’s names, but I’ll share some examples. one little girl once said to a lady in our church, who had said she was going to take a nap:
“are you and (so and so, a male) going to sleep together? that would be soooooooooo romantic.” (she didn’t know what “sleeping together” meant, she literally meant sleeping side by side)
Another little girl said to one of our college students, “(Brad,) everyone else is getting married. When are you going to get married?”
Kids have a hilarious tendency to tell things just the way they see them, and it’s awesome.
Kids are remarkably talented and/or determined.
I recently witnessed four kids do a rap in front of the whole church. I feel like that speaks for itself. But really, some of my favorite moments with kids have involved music or performance, and vice versa. It’s amazing how intelligent some children are, especially when that intelligence is fostered by their parents (which, parents, even if it drives you crazy, maybe it’s a good idea to let your kids do something they’re good at.)
Last year I was running with a group of folks, and one brought his 10-year old son along because he wanted to run. He (the dad) said after the run that he brought his son so that he had someone could beat and feel good about himself, and his son ended up running way ahead of us with the front of the pack! It was awesome to see him exceed expectations so well.
Kids are easy to please.
Lately I have realized that there are very few things that kids want in life: they basically want to be taken care of and they want someone to play with them! I’m not talking about sitting them down in front of the TV and giving them a bowl of popcorn and letting the TV take over the babysitting job. I’m talking about playing with kids–wrestling or playing Ninja or house or something like that. It’s important in our day and age, when it’s so easy to resort to a virtual babysitter, to connect with kids. I understand that as adults, it’s easy to get bogged down in our responsibilities, and while I don’t speak from experience, I’m sure it’s easy to think that you’re doing enough for your kids by putting food on the table.
If you’re going to watch a movie with your kids, put your phone and laptop away, and hold one or two of them. talk to them and joke with them. if there’s a funny song or dance in the movie, pick them up and sing and dance with them, even if it annoys the heck out of them.
In my experience with kids, albeit limited, I find that if you want a child to obey you, play with them and prioritize loving them and having fun with them above telling them what to do. What they want is to know that they have someone to have fun with.
Kids are inspiring.
It’s easy to see having kids in certain stages: their infant years, toddler, tween, teen, twenties and then having their own families. At my age, one tends to focus on the first two, because those are the two closest stages of kid-dom to me. I heard someone talk about family once, and I really wish I could remember what she said, because it was awesome, but I can’t so I’ll paraphrase. Basically, she said: you won’t regret having kids when you’re older and you have the tight-knitness and connection and LOVE of your family.
Earlier I mentioned how much I’ve been around kids lately. Sometimes, they’ll come to me of their own accord–That’s when I realized that they are watching me.
I am helping set an example for a whole generation of people.
To an extent (I say that because I don’t want to give myself more credit than I deserve, but it’s true to a point) I am being looked up to as an example of how to be a friend, college student, employee, etc. That’s really humbling and really inspiring. It helps me to remember what’s really important. Is it more important to spend money on cool stuff, or to save it up to take care of myself and be able to handle any emergency that comes my way? is it important to try alcohol just because I can now that I’m 21, or to set an example of not making it a habit? to date a smoking hot girl for her looks, or a godly woman for her virtue? These are the examples I’m able to set for a generation of young men and women, whether I’m doing it in front of them or not. I’m grateful for the reminder to run the race of faith well.
I’m grateful for kids who want to sit with me and play Angry Birds on my phone.
For kids who try to drag me into their room to play with their Barbies.
For kids to play ninja with.
For kids to teach about Jesus.
I’m grateful for kids, because kids are awesome.