Saturday, June 24, 2006

Pulling Her Weight

If you have some time today, you can surf the links. If not, you won't miss much by just reading through the entry. But if you like the links, or don't like them, please let me know, because I'm thinking of making the "link around" a regular feature.

I love the Amish. When we visited Lancaster County last summer, I was amazed and inspired about the amount of work they do. But they don't just work hard, they appreciate beauty, too. Their yards are immaculate, and they grow their own vegetables, but bordered around their vegetable plots are beautiful blooming flowers. I yearn for that work ethic and am only marginally successfully in implementing it. I think I'm missing the hard work gene. Conversely, Gina at Portrait of a Writer Interrupted struggles as hard not to work. She's gone AWOL, but is having a hard time letting her kids do it all.

One reason that I was thinking about the Amish again is what I read here yesterday over at Humble Musings. Amy was talking about the family table, but made references to Gone with the Wind and the Amish. She shared the Amish theory about childraising that

before the age of seven, children are a cost to the household; between ages 7 and 14, children pull their own weight; and after the age of 14, children contribute positively to the household economy.
My daughter is almost eight, and I can proudly say that I think I've raised her the Amish way. She gets herself up for school each morning (she even uses the alarm clock); she gets herself dressed and usually puts her stuff away (like me, she is also missing the hard work gene); she can fix herself cereal and put her dishes in the sink. Like Katrina at Callapidder Days, I am loving the gap. Because she's 5 1/2 years older than her brother, who is two, she often wants to watch her brother, and I often ask her to. So, this morning, due to a couple of nights of interrupted sleep (I guess we're both recovering from surgery), I slept in. At 8:00am, I heard the children, so I was going to get up. What I heard was Amanda talking to Kyle in the hallway. She had gotten him up out of his crib. She had not ever done this in the morning, but I had taught her to do this after naps, under my supervision, and look how helpful it is now! When I came downstairs, they were quietly playing together and Amanda told me that I could go back upstairs.

So, I grabbed my Bible and had a few minutes in the Word. I've been reading Matthew, but I just got into Mark, and I'm finding it to be a little more brain challenging. For this chapter at least, I'm going to implement Unfinished Work's method of reading the Bible. So, thanks to my daughter pulling her weight (and a bit of her brother's as well), I was able to have some time with God that I otherwise would have missed due to sleeping in on a Saturday, Terry's propped up enjoying the Saturday paper, and I'm blogging. I wonder how she'll be contributing when she's fourteen?

P.S. My creative juices are flowing about about this link-around thing. I was even thinking of making a button that you could put on your site, if you were linked to for that issue. Would that be desirable, or stupid? I got this idea from Everyday Mommy's Writing Contest, which, although I don't want the competition, looks like it will make for a lot of interesting reading. So, check it out.


Katrina said...

Hmm...Interesting thoughts about the Amish theory of child-raising. That's great that Amanda did that for you this morning!

Also, I love to see links in a blog post - especially to new-to-me blogs that I can check out.

Jeannine said...

I like links too.

Mama Duck said...

I like the links. I think it is perfectly reasonable and sweet for her to help out at that age, I know I did. Now if only my little guy could start helping, ha ha ha.

Leigh said...

There is something appealing about returning to a simple, God and community focused way of life. And our children need to feel that they are a contributing member of the family and ultimately, society. Great post!

And I join the others in supporting links.

Malissa said...

Lancaster Cty was our 1st vacation after we were married! It was so wonderful!

I secretly like the Amish too;)!

Dianne said...

Funny, I was thinking about doing a linky-thing in my blog today too. I love links right in a post - they usually get my attention.

JenLo said...

I need to require my kids to do more. My own parents went overboard and required way too much of me as a kid, so I tend to go too easy on my own. I often think that I'm raising adults, not kids, and I want to be responsible to teach them about working hard. It's more difficult to implement than to think about though--Found you through BChicks.

Karmyn R said...

yeah - I think the Amish are great, except in the winter when you have to hang your wet underwear outside on the line and it won't dry.