When I was 16, I remember learning to drive with my dad. Still just out with my learner's permit, he took me out on the freeway. I really, REALLY didn't want to drive off the road, so to make sure that I would stay straight on the road, I watched the white line on the road and made sure that it passed by me in the same place in my window. I stared at that white line, making sure that it stayed parallel to me- and while I was busy staring at this white, painted line, my dad was busy staring at the cars in front of me. "Stop! That car is stopping! STOP!"
Yup. I almost hit a few cars in front of me before I realized that the place to focus on wasn't the white line right in front of me, but on the cars and the road in front of me. Once I learned to watch the horizon, I figured out where I was going and how to get there.
Now the tricky part.
Teaching my kids to watch the horizon.
And I don't mean when they are driving. I mean in life.
It is so easy to see the small things right in front of you:
*the pot of spaghetti sauce boiling over
*those 5 pounds that won't go away
*that bedroom wall color you hate
*that job that you don't want to go to
*that neighbor you can't handle
I know that you won't make it far focusing right in front of you- you'll just end up with a fender bender.
We really need to learn to focus on the horizon.
Like, where we are going. And who we can become.
Learn to answer these questions and then teach our kids.
So, when your little boy comes home and is upset because some other kids teased him for his clothes, you teach him that the clothes he is wearing might be right in front of him, but that what is on his horizon is far more important.
When your daughter doesn't do well in her piano recital, teach her that the bombed recital isn't all she is- it's not where she ends up- it's not her horizon.
I hope that I can be able to really teach my little girl not to focus on the trials and disappointments of the day, but to be able to look at her horizon, see where she is going, and know that there is more to life than the day-to-day.
But then again, every mom wants to teach her baby to grow up right.