I broke one of the cardinal rules of parenting, I think.
But I’m not sorry I did.
One of the rules in our home, is “No climbing on the table”–coffee table, end table, whatever table–isn’t allowed. We’re pretty laid back as a family, but teaching our children manners that stay consistent as they grow? That is a biggie for us.
And dancing on a table isn’t something I would typically encourage.
But today I let–no, I encouraged–Harlow to break that rule.
I could probably read into the way that Harlow’s eyes lit up when I plopped her on the coffee table for some photos. I could worry about the future teenage years and assume the worst because of how excited she was, but I’m seeing it differently. I vividly remember as a child when rules and structure were broken–or maybe just slightly bent–by my parents.
It was kind of the best thing ever.
Staying up late when company was over–I loved listening to adult conversation.
Ordering pop when we went out to eat: we are a water family, so pop/soda/coke was a big treat.
Baking cookies in the middle of the night because a storm kept me awake–oh wait, that was my mom and sister. I’m not jealous, and clearly I’m not harboring any jealousy over that one. ;o]
So when I lifted Harlow on to that table, I had no idea that God would be teaching me a lesson as I watched her twirl and dance and stomp her feet.
I also had no idea that I would be fighting back tears while writing this post.
I know the list above is simple and plain and probably quite boring. But to me?
These seemingly small events in my life, were little events that displayed affirmation of my parents’ love for my sisters and me.
It was a reminder that we were more important than structure.
It was a confirmation of correct priorities–work and commitments were important, but so were we.
It taught me the importance of being flexible.
But most of all, they showed me that they loved us in a way that caused them to disrupt normal flow and structure–and when rules and plans changed, it reminded us again of just how much.