Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Well Children, Sinful Pride, and the Stigma of Socialization

Today was an historic day.  Finally after a year and a half, I took the girls to an American doctor.  It's so funny, when we lived overseas I carefully scheduled our doctor's appointments based on times we were traveling to Hong Kong or Thailand, but here in the States I figure I can go to the doctor anytime--and then it doesn't end up happening!  Thankfully the girls haven't been sick, but it was time for a well child checkup.  So today I took Clara Anne and Chloe and we made a visit to the pediatrician's office.

I didn't really know what to expect from this visit, except for paperwork and a brief checkup, but actually the doctor was quite thorough.  He took his time carefully doing a physical exam all while asking the girls questions about life, school, their favorite subjects, their favorite foods, whether or not they could ride a bike,  etc.  He did a little bit of testing too--quizzed Chloe on her colors and asked her to identify some items in a look and find book.  She did great, really no problem at all, but then stumbled a bit over her ABCs, of all things.

The silly part is that I felt my mama bear defenses rising a bit at his quizzing and testing.  Early on he had noted that we home schooled and asked me a bit more about my curriculum choices.  I explained a bit about Classical Conversations, but I'm not sure if he really understood.  I know it's so dumb to feel even the slightest bit defensive about my girls' education, simply because I know how the girls are doing, and truly he doesn't.  Spending 10 minutes in a room with my girls is not equivalent to knowing how they are doing generally with their studies.  But when Chloe stumbled over her ABCs, I felt pride rising in my heart and the urge to justify, wanting to interrupt, "Chloe, tell me the linear equivalents.  Or tell me about the Kush.  Or tell me three kinds of rock."  I wanted to shout, "This child can sing 10 minute history timeline song from Creation through the Seven Years War!"

Oh, sinful, prideful heart!  Thankfully the Lord restrained me in that moment, and I did not interrupt or justify or say anything at all.  And that was a good thing.  This little incident, which took no more than a few minutes, reminded me again of my humble state before the Lord, and that more than even Mr. Kind Doctor knows, my children's education is ultimately in the Lord's hands.  My children can have knowledge of many things, but without knowing and fearing the Lord, they are lost.  I have no need to be prideful or posturing--I certainly don't want to teach my girls to be that way.  Knowledge and education are a gift and mean nothing if not related to the overall framework of a biblical worldview.

So, even when a few minutes later the doctor recommended that I look into extracurricular classes (swim, dance, sports, science at the zoo, he mentioned them all specifically) in order to promote socialization, I could smile inwardly to myself and not even worry about it.  Non-homeschoolers seem to have this idea that home schooling means that we don't interact with anyone else.  He has no idea that my girls have quite an extensive social network--friends at church, friends at CC, friends overseas, friends near and far.  I understand his concern and even can appreciate it, but I do think my girls are actually quite well socialized.  They relate well to their peers, adults, and children younger than them.

All in all, it was a great visit to the doctor.  Everyone is healthy and growing well.  Clara Anne is in the 75th percentile for height, 50 for weight, and Chloe is 95th for height and 85th for weight.  They are tall girls!  I am thankful for their good health, a gift from God.  And, I am thankful for the reminder again today that all of my efforts as a mom to educate, train and teach them are in the Lord's hands.  He gives understanding and my fervent prayer for them remains that they will know the Lord and follow Him closely, all the days of their lives.


Jason and Andrea said...

I had a similar experience with Aaron's four year check-up and I was quite unprepared for the scope of all of the questions. Definitely they ranged far from mere physical health! Praising the Lord with you for healthy children. Thank you for sharing your story and gentle reminder to guard against pride in parenting!


Sarah said...

Thanks for the reminder regarding guarding against price. Seems like the doctor was doing more than the physical examine. :) Thank You Father for lessons that humble us. We're so needy of Him. Blessings to you all!