Allowing Kids to be Who They Are


My third son Jake, who is nine, often gives me rocks. We’ll be at a park or ball field, and Jake will be bent over or sitting on his haunches picking through rocks that are on the playground or the side of the road. Jake has probably given me 20 rocks, some big, some small. But these are not just typical rocks that Jake gives me…they’re rocks in the shape of hearts.


Jake shows love in many different ways. He says it to me every time he gives me a heart-shaped rock. He says it when he draws pictures for me that I later find on my dresser or on my desk…pictures of animals or of Julia and me, or of God. He says it whenever he offers me some little trinket he’s found. And I’ve learned to treasure whatever Jake has to offer.


Jake is very shy with adults, but he’s a kid magnet. Other kids love hanging around Jake because Jake loves other kids. And he loves animals. We have a big tub of water in our back yard that’s been a nice breeding ground for mosquitoes this summer, but Jake discovered in the spring that all kinds of tadpoles hatched in there, and he has been watching them form ever since. They’ve now turned into tiny frogs that he is taking care of and carrying all over the place. When he grows up, he wants to be a zookeeper rather than a vet…he informed me that vets give shots all day long, and he doesn’t want to give shots. 


Last year, we discovered that Jake was having a hard time seeing the board and probably had been for a while, but we’re just like any other parents in that we’re clueless most of the time. And this was no exception. But the amazing thing is that as blind as Jake was, he was still able to find stuff…he’s always been able to find things and animals that other people miss. It’s like he’s drawn to them…or perhaps these things are drawn to him.


In having five children, I cannot control much. I can try, but I’ve discovered it really is quite pointless. But most importantly, I’m learning to not control my kids to be what I think they need to be…but rather to allow them to be who they are…and if they’re shy or easily embarrassed or outgoing or crazy or emotional, it’s all part of how Abba has created them, and I shouldn’t try to mess that up by trying to make them into some mold that is socially acceptable for those around me. But even more than that, Abba is delighted with who they are because He created their inmost being, and they are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Master Creator. (Psalm 139)


Jake is a special kid who marvels in Abba’s world…he has a deep sense of awe and wonder…and he has taught me much about taking in the world around me. One day, I know Jesus is going to take Jakey on His lap and tell him, “Thanks for taking such good care of my creation. You enjoyed what I created when a lot of people didn’t even notice.” I don’t know…maybe Jake can already here Him saying that …


Then gathering the children up in his arms, he laid His hands of blessing on them. (Mark 10:16)


3 Responses to “Allowing Kids to be Who They Are”

  1. 1 meesha
    August 28, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    hey– i don’t want to crush jake’s dream of being a zookeeper… but i too wanted to be one… for gorillas. it’s even in my 10 year plan in my senior yearbook. …so i joyfully went off to college, began studying primates, and volunteering at the nearby zoo. and you know what i discovered. zookeepers shovel poop all day. yes, they get to do other things too, but believe me, no one enjoys gorilla sized poop. 🙂 but yes, i’d rather do that than give shots all day. he could be a vet AT a zoo. now that might be the best of both worlds and very rewarding. with very little poop! LOL.

  2. 2 Rachael
    August 29, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I LOVED this post! And Jake is an amazing kid! Olivia sure likes him!

  3. 3 Anna Arsenault
    September 19, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I really like this one, picturing Jake in Jesus lap, made me tear up. I love that your children notice things around them, and take care of God creations. It makes me smile.

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