While we barely notice, our kids are watching. Are we living a life worth seeing?
“Mama, have you ever met anyone by the name of Paige?”
My daughter posed the question as she coordinated an imaginary tea party for her dolls, testing the way this name rolled off her tongue.
“Yes,” I told her. “There is a lady at our church whose name is Paige.”
“There is?” she responded, surprised. “Which lady?”
The church we attend isn’t necessarily small and I stumbled to provide a connection for her.
“Just tell me,” my girl shot back quickly, “is she one of the goers or the doers?”
“The what?” I asked, confused by her classification.
“You know, is she one of the people who just goes to church or one of the ones who does stuff?”
Her elementary description made me smile and jogged my memory. Yes, Paige was a doer. She would remember her from Vacation Bible School a few weeks back.
This information satisfied her questioning and she was ready to return to her play but I forced her attention a bit longer. Because her simple categorization could use a little more insight.
There are plenty of doers she never sees. Her daddy who wouldn’t be caught on the worship team, he would never intentionally set foot on the stage, but he has crawled through the church attic time and time again. As an electrician he makes connections in all kinds of unseen and hidden places.
He is a doer you may never see doing. And there are dozens more like him. This girl of mine needed to know there was more than what she saw, what she thought she knew.
But I had the weighty feeling that there was something I needed to learn here as well.
Our kids are smarter than we often give them credit for. She’s barely nine and she gets it. There is no more faking it here.
I can tell her one thing, but she knows what she sees. She is begin to make her own judgements. Although not always correct and sometimes juvenile assumptions, these are still valuable impressions based on what she sees in the world.
Goers and doers.
It’s amazing how quickly I’ve arrived here, not simply in the land of let me tell you how the world works, but the one where they begin to form their own opinions, where they extrapolate the data and apply their own interpretations.
Goers and doers.
And I wonder, how does she me? What example am I living in front of her?
I can tell her what I value. I can tell her what is most important to me. But she sees where I spend my time. She sees where I serve, the daily choices I make, what I spend money on. And without even realizing it, she is gaining an understanding of what is indeed valuable.
What would she say I value? What would she say makes me happy? What does she think is deserving of my time and money?
The exchange between what we say and do weakens quickly as our kids age. And they can see the glaring differences.
Whether we are goers or doers, we must remember our kids are see-ers and it’s our challenge, our responsibility, to live a life worth watching.