Even though I'm a native English speaker, the usage of our language still holds surprises for me on a regular basis. Most of these come in the form of idioms Erik uses that, even after 31 years of being immersed in English, I'm unfamiliar with! It seems that about once a week he says something to which I put on my best blank stare and say "What does that mean?" It's become a bit of a joke between us, so much that I've suspected he makes them up just to see my reaction! How can I have missed out on so many odd little phrases that are in common usage? Is it because I grew up in Canada? Went to private schools and was homeschooled? Don't watch television? Recently we were speaking of someone getting a new job and it was said that "it must have been a real shot in the arm" for him. Erik had to explain what that meant to me, and later I tried to use it in a similar context, only I said "a real shot in the foot" instead! Oops, I guess I shot the wrong body part with that one. (But now I know two new idioms and I *think* I can use them correctly!)
Another phrase I read recently was "don't judge October apples in June". This, again, was new to me, but I've been pondering it because I tend to do this when it comes to my children. We've had some hard days with Peregrine and his fierce will. I easily start to envision the teenage years and beyond, how horrid it will be, all the trouble he will get into, how we have failed so dreadfully, et-cetera. And he's only just turned four! At other times he's sweet and compliant and very enjoyable- then I do the opposite thing and think "he's going to turn into a fine godly man after all." Both extremes are pretty silly (and I know it), but I do get caught up in this kind of thinking, letting the moment with its emotions dictate how I perceive the future. I need to remind myself that none of us, including my children, have finished the race yet. It's only June in their little apple lives- they are small and immature and have a long way to go yet. There is still much sun that needs to shine on them and many rains that need to fall before we can say they are "ready".
I vacillate between congratulating myself on my great parenting skills when all is peaceful and condemning myself for my lack of them the rest of the time. Instead I need to be looking to God for wisdom each moment with Peregrine and Alethea and trusting Him to draw my little ones to Himself. I need to thank Him when things are going well, when Peregrine is making wise choices and having a good attitude. And when the opposite is true, when we see his selfish and stubborn streak, I also need to be praying for him, and for Erik and I as we seek to raise him in righteousness. And in all things I have to trust God for the souls of these precious little people he's given to us. It reminds me of another old idiom I did learn as a child. "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched."