Peanut Butter and Parenting

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Peanut Butter and Parenting


Ugh.  School is starting again soon.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of being educated, I just miss my boys and our unstructured time together when the daily grind takes them away for nine months each year.  I do love – I mean really love – school supplies, though, so I am choosing instead to focus on this part of the season.   Anyway, back to school means back to making school lunches.  And in my house that means back to making sure my pantry is well-stocked with peanut butter.  Seriously, how do European mothers function without this nutrition staple?  My shopping list includes both kinds of peanut butter, creamy and crunchy, because I have both kinds of kids, creamy and crunchy.  It’s an interesting coincidence how this palate preference is such an apropos metaphor for their personalities.   My youngest is “creamy.”  He is consistent, easy-going, hard-working, tender, and loving.  He is elegance in motion on the soccer field, is a Civil War history buff, can tell you who won the NCAA championship in “pick a sport, pick a year,” and he gets his tank filled if you sit next to him on the couch and hold his hand or rub his back.  He is a smart, funny, compassionate peace-maker, and being his mom is my greatest joy.   Older brother is “crunchy.”  Truth be told, he’s “extra crunchy.”  He is intense, loyal, tenacious, logical, and loving.  He reads books like Intro to C++Programming, takes stunningly beautiful landscape photographs, can tell you details about every military and commercial airplane ever made, and, if you give him a gift as simple as a pack of his favorite gum, you’ll get to see his eyes light up.  He is a smart, funny, compassionate justice-seeker, and being his mom is my greatest joy.   Just as there is no such thing as “one size fits all” peanut butter, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” parenting.  God gave me two very different children.  I love them differently, discipline them differently, and encourage them differently.  This takes time and energy that sometimes I don’t think I have or, let’s be honest, don’t really want to spend.  But, in my weak moments, oh so many weak moments, He reminds me that He has fearfully and wonderfully made them to be the very different children they are, and that these distinctions are part of His plan for where He will take them, even when I can’t see that far.   I have to trust that my children were intentionally designed by an awesomely imaginative God who knit them in my womb to be exactly who they are supposed to be.  And, I want them to love who they are because I want them to love who created them.  So, I have come to realize that it is my job as their mom to spend my days knowing them, affirming how God fashioned them, and nurturing them according to their uniqueness. Even when I’m tired.  Even when I don’t want to.   And even when I have to increase my peanut butter budget.     

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