By Deanna Spangler, API Leader in Roseville, California
So life in my house is busy with three girls ages 7, 5, and 2. Not only am I a stay-at-home mom but I started homeschooling my oldest this year. Busy doing the same tasks grossly repetitively I clean, teach, change diapers, laundry, errands – we all have our own version of the grind.
At the library the other day Melany picked a CD off the shelf of the library, I brought it home to find the audio CD from the cartoon movie Curious George of all things. I can’t stop playing it. Most of the songs are really great but the one in particular I heard while driving and thinking. Sappy it may be, but it is one of those songs that stopped me and the noise in my head and spoke to my soul in a way that it made me be totally present.
“With My Own Two Hands” is about changing the world and making it a better place to live (yes, touchy-feely, I know). But, for me, it is about doing divine work here on earth. Doing what I can with my hands, my body, my heart to help, give, and to love and teach. It is my obligation to teach my kids to do the same. Making the world a better place for all is a great goal but is an idealistic, removed way of saying we will fulfill our obligation to each other. But, at that moment I realized practically, realistically what does it mean? How do I REALLY change the world with MY OWN two hands?
The answer is to do all you can to produce quality humans in the world. In other words, do exactly what you are already doing, being the best parent possible. It doesn’t mean being perfect or being everything to everybody. It means being present when your little one looks at you. You are changing the world in your house and in your communities, in your states, in this world. You do this all while you make a house a home and make family dinners. By dropping all your plans and caretaking your little one that needs to see a doctor, or by folding the 8th load of the laundry for the day. You change the world for better when you cancel meetings to make it to the soccer games after school.
As parents we are responsible for SO much. We attend to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our kids but let’s not forget ALL the other things like instilling magic, role modeling, striving for balance, grinding out daily rituals, keeping up holiday traditions, juggling vacations, teaching finances, and the importance of voting…the list is endless. But all this work of molding these small humans does not get noticed with paychecks or praise but with moments that reflect what quality human beings they are turning out to be. These small moments are you prize for changing the world.