Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Dina of A Worthy Life.
The Robins have come for a brief stay. Hidden away beneath our deck, they prepare for the impending births of their children. Watching them, researching them, enjoying them, my children and I were blessed by their moments with us. As I reviewed the pictures that we tried to snap from a courteous distance, I reflected on the lessons hidden within the examples of Mr. and Mrs. Robin as they prepared for and cared for their families. Lessons applicable for me and mine, lessons you and I would do well to emulate:
1. build a nest.
Make the home an environment where your children can prosper. Pad it with nature’s beauty, secure it with unconditional love, and invest your time and your presence in ensuring that home will always be a soft place to land.
2. shelter your children.
Take your children under your wing’s protection. Smother them in the warmth of your embrace. Let them incubate and develop under your watchful eye.
3. stand guard.
Secure the gates of your children’s hearts and minds. Protect their innocence. Shield them from negative influences. Fight against destructive thoughts and behavior. Build up their defenses with wisdom and creativity.
4. the mama and the papa: teamwork
The mama has a unique role to play. The papa has a unique role to play. Both are vital. Together share the responsibilities and the joys. Invest in your marriage so that it might reap huge dividends in an atmosphere of security and love for your children.
5. they are watching you.
More than media and friendships, your influence and example will provide the greatest impact on their young lives. They will learn from what you do more than what you say. How you treat others, how you respond to difficulties, how you invest your time and resources will teach them more than a thousand universities could ever instill.
6. feed them.
Nourish them. Give their minds and bodies good things to feast on. Provide them with books to provoke their imaginations. Eat dinner together as a family, growing in understanding and appreciation of one another. Mr. and Mrs. Robin feed their babies 100 meals a day. Respond to their questions, engage them in conversation, create with them, read to them, play with them, smile at them, hug them…100 times a day.
7. surround them with positive influences.
Cultivate friendships amongst siblings. Know who their friends are and invite them into your home. Ask a relative, friend, or neighbor if they would be willing to mentor your child, to come along side and partner with you in investing their experience and their friendship into building up the character of your son or daughter.
8. sing to them.
Encourage them when they test their wings. Help give flight to their dreams. Whisper sweet affirmation in their ears. Sing, so that they might follow your voice home when troubled times surround. Make your words of wisdom like sweet music so that it’s tune might return to them even when one day their flight takes them far from you.
A special thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Robin who provided us with hours of amusement and a lifetime of lessons. I noticed you, not because of your beauty, but because of your commitment to care for your children. I will remember you because of the beauty displayed in your acts of loyalty and love.
Dina is a girl whose only dream was to grow up and be a mother. Now that her dream has come true and multiplied by four, the only thing left to do is soak up the mini miracles and major spills that happen along the way each and every day. She writes to remember the magical and the mundane so that her journey called motherhood that so often seems commonplace will be transformed through reflection into what it truly is: a gift that, if handled properly, will define and develop the next great generation.