I remember sometime after we had Coco and Princess, thinking we had parenting by the tail. Sure there were things that came up that were new, but we felt pretty comfortable handling them. Coco has Beautiful’s personality and Princess has mine so we could relate to each child on a variety of levels. This made it easier to figure out how to work with the child through their various challenges.
I am convinced God gave us Thunder to show us just how little we really knew. He is 1/2 Samoan so I knew he was going to be athletic and large. I expected he would do things early and he lived up to those expectations by learning to walk very young (just before he turned 10 months). However, I had no idea just what those ramifications would be until THE DAY. Shortly after he learned to walk, Beautiful and I were in the living room reading and talking while Thunder was napping. We heard a loud thump and then he came toddling down the hall into the living room. We were in shock. Somehow, our 10 month old son had escaped his crib (without injury) and was wandering around. We were baffled.
We took him back to the crib and asked him to show us how he got out. He proceeded to put climb the corner by putting one foot on the side and one foot on the end slats and using the pressure to simply walk up the side. Then crawled across the changing table (a dresser) and jumped down to the floor, landing on his feet.
That was the day, I knew the Lord was serving me notice. That was the day I knew that parenting was not going to be the “plug and chug” system I thought it was.
What works for one child may not work for the next. Our job as parents is not to conform them to a particular mold. Rather our job is to recognize how God has gifted them and help shape those gifts into Christlikeness. That is going to look different for every child and the process is going to be different for every child. Coco, Thunder and P.C. will all grow to be men of God (Lord willing as we walk faithfully before Him), but they will be all be different. All three will sing His praises and worship Him together, but all three will serve Him differently. Our job as parents is to prepare them for that service, whatever it may be.