I love to toss things out, to walk into a room and feel the calm that comes after the decluttering storm.
But my mind is often cluttered. I worry about my need for new kitchen cabinets and for fresh paint in the hallway. Even in my modest home, our home improvement project list is always a year or two longer than our budget. Always.
Sometimes I forget that just a few generations ago, indoor plumbing was a luxury. Sometimes I forget that there are people in the world who have walls that sing in the wind.
I could stand to let go of a few more things.
I was taken back when the docent pointed to my 4-year-old and asked him if he wanted to try on a yoke made for kids about his size. A few generations ago, boys like Benjamin went into the woods and helped carry water or sap for their mothers. Now, I fret that he’ll trip while running on the trail at the nature center and skin his knees, and I supervise him even in our yard, which is the size of a teacup.
Quite a difference.
His chores include helping with laundry, wiping off the dining room table each night and returning the chairs to their rightful positions. Sometimes I don’t even make him do that.
So, what am I teaching him? And how am I limiting him?
I’m slowly reading Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel and early on he makes a point about how often Jesus reminds us not to be afraid.
“Fear-based parenting is the surest way to create intimidated kids,” Kimmel writes.
I suspect he’s right, and I suspect I should do something about that.