When I was expecting Trenton, I daydreamed often of the things we would be able to teach him. How to throw a ball, ride a bicycle, fly a kite.
By the time I became pregnant with Chase, I had a bit of motherhood experience under my belt. Not much, granted—they’re only 18 months apart—but it was just enough to have glimpsed the weight of nurturing a child to adulthood. My daydreams of those exhilarating teaching moments gave way to questions: How will we give our boys a strong sense of personal and family identity? How will we teach them to respect women? How in the world will I keep them from getting addicted to video games???
The other day the boys and I visited our shopping mall, almost exclusively for the purpose of riding the escalators. As we neared the top of our seventh flight (literally, I kept count!), Trenton noticed a man with tattoos covering his arms.
“We don’t do that to our arms, right Mom?”
Despite my worries when I was pregnant with #2, this is the type of teaching moment I LOVE. In fact, I think I like these brief opportunities even more than I liked teaching him to fly a kite.
“That’s right, honey. We choose not to get tattoos because we like our bodies just the way Heavenly Father made them. But it’s okay if he chooses to get them. It’s his choice.”
And at that point, the moment was over and we were headed down the other escalator. :)
Now, I hope it goes without saying that if Trenton decides to get tattoos someday, we will love him every bit as much as we do now. In reality, this post has nothing to do with tattoos. My point here is that I am excited to teach our children the simple principle that just because their dad and I choose to do something one way, doesn’t mean we expect everyone—or anyone!—else to do the same. The beauty of it all is that God gave us the power to choose, and I am humbled by the opportunity I have to try to teach my children not to judge people for choosing differently.
Easier said than done, I’m sure. But we’ll take it one escalator ride at a time.