Kate in the Middle: Learning From Your Children
Writer / Kate Rhoten
I believe that it is good to spend time doing something to help, whether in front of others or behind the scenes. This can be at church or a nonprofit that you can stand behind and help achieve its mission. I encourage my children to do the same.
During the past 15 plus years I have lived in the area, I have been involved at church and other organizations. At one point in time, I was involved in more than I was able to handle, so I started pulling back when my tenures completed, or I felt I might not be providing the best of me to the organization.
Sometimes one must do that. It is important to balance family, work, God and everything else that comes our way. So here I was, taking a break. I was only involved in two organizations, and the church gave me an opportunity to be involved again in a different capacity.
I wasn’t looking to add anything to my plate, but I met with the leaders of our youth ministry about the need. After our meeting, I agreed to give the request careful consideration and discernment.
While I considered it the following days, I waivered: this would be different for me; I have not worked with the youth of our church. Am I a good enough Catholic to lead a group? Will I be able to connect with these young adults? More questions followed with few answers.
At one point, I had decided I would not be comfortable, and I should say no. Then something happened. My oldest son told me I could do it. It would be fine and that I just need to say yes.
It was interesting to hear Noah tell me this. He went through the leadership class at church as a freshman. He wasn’t sure where it was going to lead him. He completed the year and found that he liked working with the young elementary-aged children.
As it turned out, he worked as an assistant catechist in a second grade class getting ready for First Communion. He never missed a Sunday. He even went to church with a friend beforehand many times. He began his second year of service this fall and continues to enjoy the experience.
As I thought of this, it hit me: if Noah can do it, so can I. There it was. I had made my decision. I could do this. I should do this. I will do this. Sometimes we can only become better versions of ourselves by being uncomfortable. That’s how we learn about ourselves and grow. Growing is a physical process, but it is much more than that. It involves the mind and the spirit. We should never stop growing.
As I reflect on this, I thought about what kind of role model I would be if I didn’t walk the talk. Every once in a while, we can learn from our children. This was one of those times. Raising children is not easy, but it can be rewarding when their own experiences come back to you as an example.