On Tuesday night I took Ava with me to the grocery. She had the option of going with Eric and Lukas to piano lessons, but she chose to go to the grocery with me instead. The trip to the store began with me in a grumpy mood, but I mostly hid that from Ava. It wasn't her fault I hadn't slept the night before and that I didn't want to go anywhere. Usually, I don't mind getting groceries, but I surely didn't want to do it that night.
On the way to the store, I thanked Ava for going with me. She said, "You're welcome. I couldn't let you go to the store all by yourself! NO ONE wants to go shopping alone!" Heehee. Sometimes, I do want to go to the store alone, but I didn't share that with her. Of course I wanted to be with her. These moments are precious and fleeting, aren't they?
For the first time, Ava wanted to control the grocery list. She took the pencil and list, and I told her she was welcome to cross things off the list if she read them herself. I showed her which column matched the department we were in (I shop from a spreadsheet...for real), and she found each item and scratched it off. A couple times she needed help because I abbreviate things. I'm not used to a 7 year old, budding reader wanting to read my grocery list, and "chx" doesn't mean "chicken" when you're 7. I was so proud of how well she did with this task. She was so proud of herself as well. I love moments like this. I'll cherish them forever.
I've noticed in the past 6 months that Ava is really starting to understand gender roles. I realize that anyone reading this who is an avid supporter of the feminist movement is probably cringing as they read this paragraph, but I am proud of this fact. Ava wants to cook, get groceries, clean and do anything that she sees me doing these days. She's my constant side-kick. One of her favorite tasks is helping in the kitchen. Of course, she sees Daddy in the kitchen from time to time, but it's definitely not his niche. It's mine. It's Nana's. It's Grandma's. Ava is learning to embrace her role in this life, and I'm happy to be the one to show it to her.
These are the kinds of things that we need to be teaching our daughters, the kinds of things that are so often overlooked these days. I don't think most Christians even realize how deeply the feminist movement has infected our thinking. I allowed it to infect my thinking for years. 15 years ago, I believed a woman not only could have it all. I believed a woman should have it all!
If you feel like you have it all while working outside the home, then I am happy for you. I'm not here to cast judgment on anyone. I see women who work and raise a family and enjoy their lives. I'm just not someone who would enjoy that. I love my role in my home. I enjoy spending my days with my children. Homeschooling rocks. Running a household brings me joy. Planning and cooking healthy meals and not needing to rely on processed food makes me feel like I'm giving my family the best nutrition that I can. Supporting my husband and being available to talk to him throughout his day is one of the greatest things that I do. Passing this kind of legacy onto my daughter is something I believe the Lord would want for me to do.
My relationship with my daughter is changing. We're growing closer in new and wonderful ways. Some day, I hope that she becomes one of my best friends. I remember my pre-adolescent and adolescent years far too well to imagine that we won't have some bumps along the way, but, someday, when she's all grown up, I hope that we have that. It isn't the season for that, but it is a season to teach her what it means to be a woman of God, to teach her the things of God and to ensure that she knows that she is loved and cherished by her mama no matter what she says or does.
Don't be afraid to embrace a traditional role in your family. This is something I never imagined I would love. I wanted to teach music. I wanted do so many things. Do I feel like I'm missing out? Absolutely not. I believe I traded up. This life is so much better than any I could ever have imagined!