My two year-old son Abel is starting to turn into a little man. His demeanor is changing from that of a toddler to that of a little boy. Everyday I realize all over again how smart and impressionable he really is. I see little behaviors in him that remind me of myself, but even more so I see behavior that could only have been learned from his daddy. There are several things Abel has been doing lately that prove to me he is already looking to his father to learn how to be a man. Indeed, many of these things are still quite insignificant in the grand scheme of Abel’s manhood, but nevertheless they are good reminders that he is watching every move we make.
- If Travis puts on a baseball cap on his way out the door, Abel asks for his cap, too.
- When Travis comes in out of the sun for a moment, he often pushes his sunglasses up to his forehead. Lately, instead of handing me his sunglasses when we come inside, Abel strategically places his own sunglasses not on the top of his head like Mommy, but on the front of his forehead.
- Travis mows our lawn once or twice a week with a push mower that of course has a pull start. If Travis is mowing, you can be sure that Abel is ten steps behind with his own mower, stopping every once in a while to restart the motor.
- In preparation to replace the tire on our wheelbarrow the other night, Travis wheeled it into the grass and laid it tire side up. A few moments later I noticed a small plastic wheelbarrow placed upside down in the grass right beside it.
- Last night Travis had a wheelbarrow full of dirt and was placing it with a shovel around the edges of my garden. I looked out the window as Abel quietly watched his father work just before turning to his own shovel and wheelbarrow full of dirt.
Reflecting on these moments makes me realize a few things: (1) our children are watching everything we do and listening to everything we say, and from our examples they are learning how to behave; (2) spending time with our children is important not only for the relational aspects and for the memories, but also for the teaching and learning opportunities it provides; and (3) I am so thankful that Abel’s father–my husband–is a godly man, because from him Abel is learning how to be a man himself. What a blessing to be a parent and to therefore have the opportunity to so strongly influence the life of a child.