|Part of This Year's Stangtastic Father's Day Book|
Today, our family has a lot of celebrating to do. We'll be getting together with Grammy, Grampy, some cousins, some aunties and some uncles to celebrate Nina turning five, Jack turning two and our fathers, grandfathers and godfathers continuing to love and be loved by us. Of course, we have all this to celebrate because of our one, awesome God.
So, last night, after the kids and I made our Father's Day creations, Nina, Luke and I engaged in a faith formation strategy that I often use: simply sharing what we think and know.
Since the kids and I had just finished creating Daddy's 2012 Stangtastic book (a tradition that I will write about another day), I decided to use the "creating a graphic" kick we were on to invite conversation. In lieu of our regular bedtime talk, I whipped up a Venn Diagram and challenged the kids to think about how Daddy and God are alike and how they are different. I asked them if they might share two or three ideas to fill in each space of the chart.
In seconds, Luke and Nina were coming up with more comparisons than my tired, typing hands could capture. "Mommy, did you write my idea?" "And this one..." They bounced beside me, all smiles, so proud of their "good thinking".
Before long, I stopped typing out the suggestions they offered and just began to actively listen. It was beautiful -- and amazing -- to witness my young children sharing their thoughts, building on one another's ideas, declaring truths as they now understand them and forming questions that might guide their future understanding. In fact, it was so rewarding for me to observe their excitement with the exercise and to listen to their examination of paternal love, that I failed to notice it becoming long past bedtime.
Thus it is this morning I wake earlier than everyone and wonder if I will have bleary-eyed babes at our family party today. Even if they do begin to act out in an overtired state this afternoon, however,I know the day is blessed. Celebrating their growing bodies, minds and faith, while honoring our fathers is sure to make this a day of delight.
Have you invited your little ones to share what they know and think lately? Have you asked them to describe what they can see, hear, touch and interact with hear on earth in order to begin to imagine that which is far greater? Father's Day can open an illuminating opportunity for such discussion.