Do you want to know a fun fact about me? I speak two languages fluently (English and French) and I can hold my own in Spanish if I have to.
In college, my favorite professor and her husband were both fluent in French and their children didn’t speak French. I thought “Wait, what? I’m never going to let that happen. I’m teaching my kiddos French.”
I taught the whole year that I was pregnant with my little girl and then the year after she was born. I was ready. I knew what I needed to do to make her successful as a bilingual tiny human. And so one night, I started speaking to her in French.
She started screaming. Not like “I’m-kind-of-unsure-whimpers” full on “Who-are-you-and-what-have-you-done-with-my-mother?” screams.
At first I couldn’t figure out any rhyme or reason until I realized how much my voice drops when I speak French. And since she was used to my mommy voice that got higher, it was a big change for her little ears.
So I decided I would wait till I stopped working.
Then when I stopped working she was just about ready to start talking and I didn’t want to delay her speech (bilingual kids tend to have delayed output) so I thought “I’ll wait a year.”
Then I got pregnant.
And here we are, she’s 3.5 years old and she doesn’t speak French. She does attempt to sing “Au clair de la lune” with me and she loves reading her French vocab book (nerd) but we aren’t making huge progress.
My excuse time and again was that she wasn’t ready or that it just wanted the ideal time.
When will she be old enough? When will she be ready? When will it be an ideal time?
When I had just quit working to stay home and my husband was working a really weird schedule at work, we sat down and discussed doing an at-home date night and also a set aside family worship time. Our only child at the time was about a year old and we weren’t sure what to do with a one year old that would influence her faith development but we wanted the habit to be in place, for all of us, so we started.
And then when our son was born, we did family worship with him on the couch too.
We didn’t talk about if he was old enough to participate or whether he’d get anything out of it. We were worshiping as a family so he came too.
We went from a story and some songs to adding prayer time. Then we added memory work.
Since he can’t talk very well, we haven’t had him repeat the memory verses after us. But we’re exposing him to it – completely accidentally I assure you – and memory work time has become his favorite part of family worship. I’m not joking.
So it occurred to me that if I had thought about it, I would have thought he was too young. I wouldn’t have done memory work with him or even in front of him because I thought he was too young.
I guess I realized that if I’m always waiting for me to know if my child is old enough, I’m going to miss what they are actually capable of doing.
So what are we waiting for our kids to be old enough to do?
I know I’m thinking a lot more about my kids being able to do some French lessons.
But even more, my heart and my head are thinking about ways I can impress upon their faith lives and model for them and talk with them about things that will impact them – forever.
So what am I waiting for?
What are you waiting for? What is something you have been waiting to start doing and is on your mind now? Would you encourage others by leaving it in the comments.