Today's post is from my friend Jeanne's blog. I checked in and got her permission to share it because I thought she had some great perspective on raising kids. With three of her own (ages 3,2, and 8 months), she's got some great experience! She's one of my "go to" moms and has given me countless helpful tips and solutions to the world of babies/toddlers.
While Roman and I were on the East Coast for a visit, we drove to Charlottesville, Virginia, where we are hoping to live after our military career ends next December. This also happens to be where our friends Jeanne and Paul Duval live! What a great excuse for a visit. So Roman and I stayed with her and her brood (her hubby is deployed right now to the middle east) for a night and got to experience life "a la Duval."
Jeanne and I met while waiting for our husbands to return from a deployment to Japan while we were all stationed in California. We also met another girlfriend, Kayla, who has also continued to be a very dear friend of mine. Since our California years, Jeanne has had 3 kids, lived in Italy for 3 years, and moved to Charlottesville. I have had one and a half kids and lived in California for 2 years and Hawaii for 3 years. Our husbands do the same thing in the Navy and we have not all been together since...well, never if you count the kids involved! I met the Duval kids for the first time during this visit and she met Roman and belly (Liam). My, how life changes in a few years! I love that we've kept in touch and become even closer in spite of the distance.
With that introduction, I now present to you: Jeanne Duval!! (thanks for your permission to share this, Jeanne!)
(and yes, general public, I know I could have just linked you to her blog but it's secure and you couldn't read it! Doesn't this feel a little bit more special? Secretive?) ;)
We're not crazy! We're enthusiastic!
This week, the kids and I have been working on some welcome banners for Lauren's arrival on Monday. Not only have we had a lot of fun with paint, crayons, markers, etc but I have had a BLAST teaching them about enthusiasm.
I think most people, especially my husband, are generally shocked by the emphasis that I put on making sure incoming guests receive an enthusiastic welcoming, birthday's always have balloons and signs, and general tone of voice in conversation. For some reason, these are things that God has put on my heart and I know are very important.
While I know my children will gain some of these qualities by my example, I also know the responsibility I have to teach them about enthusiasm. I am currently reading TLC's The Duggars 2nd book. In both of their books, they have had some incredible insights. One of my favorites was this one:
"We teach them [our children] to overcome shyness by constantly reminding them of another foundation of our faith: Jesus' instruction to treat others the way you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). To us, it's not cute when our little ones turn away when someone speaks to them, or hide their faces in Mama's skirt, or stare back, wide-eyed and worldess; we believe that behavior is disrespectful of the other person. In contrast, eye contact shows respect; it tells the other person, You're important; You're special.
Turning away means the child fails to acknowledge the other person, and it also nurtures in the child a self-centered focus, something we want each one to learn to overcome as he or she matures."
This excerpt explains my thoughts perfectly! It's about respect. It's about showing other people that they are worth your time and energy to put forth a little bit of effort on their behalf.
This week, we have been practicing self-introductions on the phone. They are so funny! If you call the house any time soon, most likely I will have have of the kids pick up and you will hear, "Hi, I Paul" or "Hi, dis Cafrine". Haha. Baby steps.
So, just know, that if you spend a birthday with us, you will probably have balloons, a sign, and cake. If you come to visit we will either be waiting in the airport, in the driveway, and possibly even holding signs. If you call, we will answer with "umph" so you know that we are excited to hear from you. And if you speak to us, we will be sure to look you in the eye and answer you. We want you to know that you are important to us and that we appreciate the relationship that we have.