What a swing taught me about parenting

childhood swingRecently I was out at a playground with my kiddos and in a less-than-stellar mood. (To update everyone – I now have two little children and have rather neglected this blog of late. Apologies!)

While they were playing on the slides, on a whim I went and sat down on a swing … remembering the days when I used to pump my legs to get higher, alternatively soaring and sinking, and feeling like I could fly.

Almost immediately my children came running, giggling, delighted to see me on the swing. “Push Mommy! My turn! Let me push Mommy!”

At first I protested, anxious that they would get hit or hurt somehow if I swung too hard or heavily against them. Then again, I was also feeling hugely self-conscious … who ever heard of a grown woman swinging like crazy at a playground?

But eventually, they were so thrilled to be actually pushing me that I relented. Reluctantly, I said that ok, they could push me. And they took turns.

They were so diligent in pushing me! If only they took as much delight in doing their daily chores as they did in giving me a push on the swings!

The more they pushed, the happier they became. Maybe they just loved the feeling of being useful, and helpful, and kind to Mommy.

And the more they pushed, the happier became, too … until all the feelings of self-consciousness fell away and I really didn’t care who saw me! I was having so much fun!

I was playing like a child again!

It was only later that I pondered the whole thing. What was so significant to me about that short time of swinging back and forth, up and down, and laughing with my kiddos?

For that one brief moment, we were all having fun together. And their pushing me made them soooo happy, happier than I ever expected.

It was as if they were longing to give back, to repay some of those countless moments when I had pushed them as a dutiful mom. To be pushed, now, by my children made all those moments worth it. In fact, more than worth it.

At that moment, it was like God’s Spirit was whispering to me. What if all our “doing” – all the good works and things we can do as Christians, the duties and responsibilities of our daily lives – were done in the same spirit as my children, joyfully giving Mommy a push?

Since God has poured out so much love and grace upon us, isn’t the least we can do to give Him a “push” back … for God to share a moment with us on the swings of life?

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40, NIV

Whenever I take time to do something for my children out of love for them, am I doing it for Jesus?

If I had this mindset every moment of every day, what would my life look like?

About multiculturalmarriage

I'm glad to be part of a multicultural marriage! I grew up in the U.S. but am married to an African husband. This makes life challenging, creative and cool - all at the same time!
This entry was posted in Faith/Values, Family matters, Parenting styles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s