Lessons Learned From My Sons

pexels-photo-975265.jpeg

Any one who has had sons knows that some of the best lessons in life can be learned from them. The first lesson I learned from my sons was Joy. When they were toddlers they could find Joy in the smallest things, such as playing with the boxes at Christmas more than the toys that were in them. They didn’t need anything sophisticated to provide their Joy, they found it in their surroundings. They taught me to look for Joy in the ordinary circumstances of life.

The next lesson I learned from my sons was an appreciation of Beauty. They found Beauty in things I would have considered common place. When they would bring me a bouquet of dandelions, I would smile and thank them for the “pretty flowers.” They didn’t see weeds, they just saw the Beauty of nature. I learned to see Beauty where I hadn’t seen it before.

When they went to Pre-school and Kindergarten, I learned Tolerance. They did not see color, race or economic status in their fellow students. They just liked who they liked and wanted to play with whomever they met. They had not learned to discriminate against people relating to anything society would later want to put on them. I knew I needed to be more like them and just view people as people…period.

When they were in Elementary School, I learned Generosity. Both of my sons began to see the economic disparity in their classmates lives and were concerned for their them. One son went out for track. He had three pairs of tennis shoes and for the first few days gave the shoes he was wearing away to someone needing a better pair. By the third day he had to make a hard decision. If he gave away his last pair, he would not be able to go out for the sport himself. We all learned that unfortunately, there are limits to where our Generosity can take us.

In Junior High, they taught me to let them have their Independence. Each had to make their own decisions and suffer the consequences for those decisions. Our youngest son went along with all of the other boys in the class and refused to write in a journal like his English teacher assigned. He took a “D” rather than cooperate, and was grounded until he brought his grade up.  Our oldest was suspended for a few days when he turned on a kid who had been harassing him throughout the year. He was ready to deck the kid and the principal told him that if he would just leave the kid alone, he could stay in school and the other kid would be suspended. He said, “No, if you leave me in school today, I will hit him.” He did not hit the kid and took his suspension days having stood up to him. Each had to make his decisions Independently of his father and me. 

In High School, they taught me Consideration and Respect. During a heated discussion with my oldest, he said, “Mom, you always think you are right!” That struck a chord with me as I could be a force to contend with in a verbal argument. I needed to learn to Consider my son’s opinions and not always think that I knew what was best for him. The same lesson came to me also via the younger son. He was a bright child and I wanted him to go to college right after high school. He knew he wasn’t ready and had no desire to go to college then. When I finally quit fighting with him about it; he went about his own way, joined the Army and later worked in the construction industry. Eventually, he did go to college, but it was on his terms pursuing a career he was interested in. I needed to learn to show Consideration for their opinions and Respect my sons’ decisions and let go of my preconceived ideas about what was best for their lives.

My sons have taught me a lot and still continue to teach me in their adult years. They are both intelligent and have deep moral values. They are better able to discern the gray areas in life and because of them, I have learned not to be such a black and white person. I appreciate my sons and all of the lessons they have taught me, and I know I am a better person because of it.   

Wanted to reblog this today!

Lessons Learned From My Sons

pexels-photo-975265.jpeg

Any one who has had sons knows that some of the best lessons in life can be learned from them. The first lesson I learned from my sons was Joy. When they were toddlers they could find Joy in the smallest things, such as playing with the boxes at Christmas more than the toys that were in them. They didn’t need anything sophisticated to provide their Joy, they found it in their surroundings. They taught me to look for Joy in the ordinary circumstances of life.

The next lesson I learned from my sons was an appreciation of Beauty. They found Beauty in things I would have considered common place. When they would bring me a bouquet of dandelions, I would smile and thank them for the “pretty flowers.” They didn’t see weeds, they just saw the Beauty of nature. I learned to see Beauty where I hadn’t seen it before.

When they went to Pre-school and Kindergarten, I learned Tolerance. They did not see color, race or economic status in their fellow students. They just liked who they liked and wanted to play with whomever they met. They had not learned to discriminate against people relating to anything society would later want to put on them. I knew I needed to be more like them and just view people as people…period.

When they were in Elementary School, I learned Generosity. Both of my sons began to see the economic disparity in their classmates lives and were concerned for their them. One son went out for track. He had three pairs of tennis shoes and for the first few days gave the shoes he was wearing away to someone needing a better pair. By the third day he had to make a hard decision. If he gave away his last pair, he would not be able to go out for the sport himself. We all learned that unfortunately, there are limits to where our Generosity can take us.

In Junior High, they taught me to let them have their Independence. Each had to make their own decisions and suffer the consequences for those decisions. Our youngest son went along with all of the other boys in the class and refused to write in a journal like his English teacher assigned. He took a “D” rather than cooperate, and was grounded until he brought his grade up.  Our oldest was suspended for a few days when he turned on a kid who had been harassing him throughout the year. He was ready to deck the kid and the principal told him that if he would just leave the kid alone, he could stay in school and the other kid would be suspended. He said, “No, if you leave me in school today, I will hit him.” He did not hit the kid and took his suspension days having stood up to him. Each had to make his decisions Independently of his father and me. 

In High School, they taught me Consideration and Respect. During a heated discussion with my oldest, he said, “Mom, you always think you are right!” That struck a chord with me as I could be a force to contend with in a verbal argument. I needed to learn to Consider my son’s opinions and not always think that I knew what was best for him. The same lesson came to me also via the younger son. He was a bright child and I wanted him to go to college right after high school. He knew he wasn’t ready and had no desire to go to college then. When I finally quit fighting with him about it; he went about his own way, joined the Army and later worked in the construction industry. Eventually, he did go to college, but it was on his terms pursuing a career he was interested in. I needed to learn to show Consideration for their opinions and Respect my sons’ decisions and let go of my preconceived ideas about what was best for their lives.

My sons have taught me a lot and still continue to teach me in their adult years. They are both intelligent and have deep moral values. They are better able to discern the gray areas in life and because of them, I have learned not to be such a black and white person. I appreciate my sons and all of the lessons they have taught me, and I know I am a better person because of it.   

Wanted to reblog this today!

Second-Hand Education

Have you ever received any really great Second-Hand Education? When we think of education, we think in terms of getting it first-hand from a primary source. We receive it from a parent, teacher, book, seminar or webinar. But have you ever thought about the fact that you receive lots of your education in a second-hand way? Exactly what does that look like? 

girl and boy sitting in front of brown wooden coffee table

Photo by Zun Zun on Pexels.com

Well, when one of my brothers would come in late and get grounded for a week, I learned to keep the curfew that was set for me. When I would read in the newspaper about someone going to jail for a crime, it would reinforce the teaching I had received about not breaking the law. When I would hear about someone else’s experiences, either in person or in a magazine, I would learn about what to do or not to do in a given situation. Every now and again though, I have had the opportunity to receive some really great Second Hand Education.

The first time was when I was in the sixth grade and my older brother was a freshman in high school. He got rheumatic fever and once the initial hub-bub was over about it, he was stuck at home for three months. He needed to remain inactive and could not go to school. His teachers had to come to the house after school to teach him. 

I didn’t sit in on all of his lessons, only the ones that interested me at the time. I loved his Latin teacher and listened dutifully while she taught him tenses and grammar. Those lessons helped make learning Spanish and Italian a breeze. They also gave me the ability to understand a bit of French, Portuguese, and Romanian, all Latin based languages.

When his biology teacher came, I would listen as he talked about cells and their makeup. Sitting on the sidelines gave me a leg up when I went to high school and took Biology and then Physiology and Anatomy. Those lessons gave me the preparation to walk into my high school classes with some advanced knowledge.

The next opportunity came when he was getting ready to go to college. He had chosen a major that would require that he read a lot of books. He decided to take a speed reading course and he started on it. I would sit with him in his room when he was learning how to speed read. First, words would be shown to him on the screen, then phrases, whole sentences and finally paragraphs. I learned how to take my finger and run it down the page and retain information. That skill became invaluable in college and has benefited me my entire life.

The last time I benefited from really great Second-Hand Education was when my best friend went to Seminary. She was required to take a lot of interesting classes and she would call me and tell me about what she was learning. She would then send me any books I was interested in and I could then pursue that subject on my own. That experience gave me a knowledge and depth of information on many subjects I would not normally have studied. 

Some of the best parts of my education have come in a second-hand way. Even though I was not the person primarily being taught, I still benefited greatly by another person’s knowledge, skill, and generosity. The information I learned has been extremely useful along the way. I don’t know about you, but I will take education any way I can get it…even if it comes to me in a second-hand way.    

What about you? Have you had some experiences where you benefited from some really great Second-Hand Education? Let me know, I would love to hear your stories!