This post was originally written October 12, 2009, but I have to say this learn-it-the-hard way lesson had to happen again this year.
This picture was taken around 8:35PM last Thursday night.
Do you see that orange folder there on the chair?
It's my 6 year old's homework folder filled with his homework packet that is due back at school the next morning. A packet of 8 worksheets that came home on Monday, to be returned on Friday. He worked on it a little each day all through the week, very diligently without my nagging him.
After finishing the last worksheet, he put the homework packet into his folder, but didn't put the folder in his backpack.
Now he is in bed and I am staring at the folder.
My son and I have talked several times about setting up his backpack with everything he needs for the next day, the night before.
I know the folder is in danger of being overlooked there on the chair in the hustle and bustle of the morning.
I want so much to swoop in and fix the situation.
It would be so easy, only taking about 2 seconds of my time, to put the folder into his backpack for him.
It might even feel good, like I was taking care of my baby, protecting him from a potentially bad and uncomfortable situation at school without his homework.
But I don't do it.
Because I don't want to have to do it for the next 11 years.
Because someday he'll go off to college and I won't be there to do it for him.
Because the consequence for forgetting 1st grade homework is so much more bearable than the consequences for forgetting a high school term paper, or important notes for a key client at his grown-up job.
Because I remember the one time I didn't have my homework at school. I was mortified and it never happened again.
Because sometimes the consequences life can deliver teach the lesson so much better than a mom can.
Because I believe sometimes being a mom is about the things you don't do for your kids.
Will he be grateful someday?
Probably not, but this mothering job is not about thanks!
Find more Thankful Thursday here.