Awhile back, I asked Lee if he would help me get back in shape by running with me in the mornings. That’s because I was doing a dismal job disciplining myself to exercise regularly, even though at one time long ago, I enjoyed running quite a bit. So we have been running for several months now, about two or three times a week (more or less, as his schedule allows).
Every morning when Lee announces that we will be running, I rebel. I had to stop grumbling on the outside because I was afraid Lee would take me seriously and stop running with me. But if he gives me the option, I will say no every time.
In fact, I’m still questioning the wisdom of getting up to run, even after we actually start running. I’m telling myself that there are easier ways of getting in shape, and so on. Not until I’m finishing a run am I really glad I did it.
The point I am learning is that sometimes, we give our children responsibility, and they fail miserably. That’s because they are like me with my running. They like the results of responsibility, but they haven’t yet learned how to get through the painful part on their own. What’s a mother to do?
Sigh. Perhaps we must not fear forcing certain activities on our children (I’m contemplating Bible reading, piano practicing, and cleaning rooms). We must get through the painful part of supervising, checking, and keeping short accounts. We risk giving more responsibility, because sometimes children mature as they see the benefits of self-discipline. It’s easy for me at this stage to get impatient. I’m ready for them to be mature, now. I forget that I’ve got years before they will be ready (and when I consider that I still need another person to force me to do something as valuable as exercising, I am more humble, still).