Charlotte Mason wrote,
“Let us not despise the day of small things nor grow weary in well-doing” (Vol. 3, p. 23).
We drove 16 hours each way to Chicago for Thanksgiving. The kids did so well—definitely our best road trip yet. Its wasn’t just the new coloring books, marker and pencils Grandma sent, or the fabulous snacks we packed, or the great books on CD we had. The kids were really focused on the goal (seeing our family) and pushed through the hard parts (especially hoursnine and ten on the first day) knowing the reward that was ahead of them. I was very skeptical that any amount of timethere (especially three short days) was going to be worth four days in the car, but I was wrong.
Likewise, we recently took the older three to see The Lion King (the musical). After the initial complaints about tall people with big hair sitting in front of us, the music started and they were enchanted. Too enchanted to talk, even. Mostly. Then just to tempt fate further, afterwards we went out for fondue. My parents brought SweetP (who had watched the movie The Lion King with them, just for fairness’s sake), and we all ate fondue out of boiling pots on the table. And they all did great. Age-adjusted great, but really well.
Little by little, the daily lessons are adding up. Unloading the dishwasher with a good attitude when we don’t want to; finishing a page of math every day; writing thank you letters; forgiving one another even when it’s hard: these are the lessons we are learning. It takes big things, good and hard, to see the progress, but these daily challenges, build character. And that’s what we’re trying to teach, right?