The whole "nature vs. nurture" argument leaves me without question leaning heavy on the "nurture". With seven of the eight born not of my womb but of my heart, what I feed into their lives is all I can take responsibility for. You know the day to day influences, the values, the goals, the rules but more important than all that structure is the unconditional love.
Admittedly, the tendency to allocate "blame" or "justification" for all that nature "dished" out is easy. Finding the courage to push through can be draining...even downright exhausting.
How easy when it is I who has fallen short to find a reason other than something I have done to account for the behaviour. Finding the courage to look full into the eyes of my child and see their individual potential regardless of my own preconceived notions...necessary.
I've never been too fond of labels and try to make it a priority to avoid them at all costs especially when it comes to my children. Life is stressful enough without having to wear a large, neon sign saying....please excuse my behaviour but I have "such and such".
Behaviours tend to speak for themselves and to offer up a reason to be looking for "trouble" does none of my children any good. Aside from having the potential predetermination of guilt it suggests to the child in question "There is something wrong with me and I am doomed to not succeed here." That just won't fly in my house!
A friend once shared a story of a traveler who visited a village and upon entering a shop there stood watching in awe the rug makers hard at it. This traveler was amazed as the craftsmen sped a shuttle back and forth on the loom.
"What if you make a mistake with the shuttle?" asked the traveler. "You are going so fast you will not see the error in the design until you have woven several layers over it. What will you do then? Will you unwind the carpet and remove the layers of thread that you have added?"
"No," said the rug maker "we would never do that; that would take far too much time. I'll tell you a secret. The most beautiful rugs with the most elaborate designs, the most expensive weavings, are the ones with the mistakes hidden inside."
"How's that?" questioned the traveler. "Well, once we notice the mistake, we have to integrate it into the pattern. We have to change the pattern to include the mistake and make it part of a new design. Sometimes the new design is far more complex, far more embellished than anything we could have created ourselves. That's why the most beautiful rugs are the ones with the mistakes hidden deep inside."
You see, I believe that these "complex designs", these beautiful "embellishments" that make each of my children who they are...are not errors...These "designs" are not mistakes but the careful placement by the Master Weaver of each of them in the plan He has for them.
The intricacies of each one only makes them special, unique in the Weaver's eyes and in mine. What they have to offer this world and selfishly what I continue to learn as I am blessed with the privilege of parenting them is immense! What a different place this world would be if we could all look through the eyes of the Creator of each "masterpiece".What the world might reject...I must cherish. What the world judges...I will nurture.
Mistake or Plan? I choose to follow the "plan."