I’m discovering more and more that it’s best to not tell everyone everything you know ~wink~ and, for that matter, it’s best to just quietly go about your days not making too many waves (but then, that’s a blog entry for another day).
A few days a week Kathryn works as a nanny to two little boys. Other days she teaches piano and filling in the gaps are other babysitting, cleaning and clerical jobs. It dawned on me, the downside to teaching daughters to be proficient or efficient at things everyone needs to have done and things that many are willing to pay to have done, is that those things necessarily take daughters away from home. Now it’s not just because when they’re gone I miss what they could be doing here or the fact that when they’re out I am the mother, it’s more that I simply miss them so very much and wish they could just stay home.
Over the years, one of the things I have taught my girls and boys is to look for the most needful thing and then do that thing— when they’re home or when they’re away. I suppose this has been more true of my training of the girls than specifically of the boys –it’s sort of a throwback to sales training days: here’s the drill: find a need and fill it. I suppose Wes does more of the find-a-job-and-do-it training with the boys.
So in order to help them for their futures and to help them help others, this training has been a very high priority to me–to us. That, and we don’t want to train up (and cannot tolerate) lazy or unproductive behaviour or better said: we’re not condoning capable people to be self-centered, to live selfishly and/or to settle for mediocrity. This breaks down bcz of age and time and physical limitations and/or a myriad of other reasons, but for the most part, if there’s something that needs to be done: it simply needs to be done. Period. Just do it. I think a number of years ago, that was the one poster I allowed to hang in the boy’s room — the Nike, Just do it poster.
Well, I see now that there’s a downside to instilling this capable, industrious and eager work ethic. I heard the other day that the family she nanny’s for has not wanted to divulge their best-kept-secret and risk having others ask Kathryn to work for them. I laughed when I heard that… but then, I’m not laughing now, for now, I am actually thinking that I sort of wish they didn’t know about Kathryn’s love for and ability to look after their children. I’m thinking I don’t want anyone else to hear of this sweet resource. So then… when told that she is going to be leaving for Uganda, they say… O, wait, can Hannah come help? I wince. Another one of my sweetest secrets.