All through the Olympics, we saw not only athletes accomplishing amazing feats, but also plenty of coverage of their parents weeping and bursting their buttons with pride. It must be an incredible feeling to know that your child has won the admiration of the world – and to realize you played a part in his or her success.
But success isn’t always measured in medals, fame or money. Children achieve all sorts of things in their lives, and sometimes the little accomplishments mean as much as – or more than – the grander ones. (Just ask the mother of a speech-delayed child who just said his first sentence, or the father of a student who got a B on a science exam after nearly failing all year.)
That’s the theme of this week’s TLC blog from Michelle Duggar, whose family’s show, 19 Kids & Counting, begins its new season tonight.
She explains that “All of my kids have so many strengths and gifts that we encourage them to share with others.” For instance, the Duggar children learn to play musical instruments at a very young age, and they often play together as a family at home and at events. Some of the older kids have undergone first-aid training and volunteer as local “first responders” in the event of car accidents and other emergencies.
Those accomplishments would make any parent’s heart proud. But Michelle says she’s just as happy to see her children endeavoring to do their best in little ways.
She uses son Josiah as an example. Josiah – who turns 16 today, by the way! – has a busy schedule with his household chores, music practice, homeschool classes and the online college courses he takes to earn credits toward an early degree.
Even though all these may not be as exciting or life-saving as tending to an accident victim or racing at world-record speed, Josiah puts his whole attention into doing the best job possible – even when it comes to cleaning the toilets. (“He literally takes the seat off the toilet and scrubs around the little screws that hold the latch on and then he puts the seat back.”) He also patiently helps his younger siblings with their schoolwork when they’re having trouble.
“As a mom I look at what he’s doing and I see that is profound, just as profound as the kids who are First Responders,” Michelle says. “I think so often we look for these big, exciting things in life – we want this great mystery, we want this great fill-in-the-blank here. But really, it’s the daily things, the things we do every day that we should desire the fruit from.”
We may not all be lucky enough to have a child who’s willing to clean the toilets without griping. But Michelle is wise to acknowledge that kids can make us proud in many little ways.
What have your children achieved today? (And will you be watching the new season of 19 Kids?)
[Photo: via TLC]
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