The Things We Teach Our Children

“Looks like someone’s not keeping her baptismal promises,” my friend joked (at least, I think he was joking) at lunch yesterday.

My three-year-old did not have a ready explanation for the doctrine of the Trinity.  Clearly, I have failed as a parent.

I am not worried–yet–about Zoe’s grasp of Christian doctrine.  But I do worry sometimes that I am not teaching her Important Things (if I had an example it would go right here)  while accidentally teaching her Wrong Things (cold pizza for breakfast).

As I hope  is obvious based on the content of this blog, Zoe is currently an only child.  She is also still the only grandchild on both sides (looking at you, siblings). Oh, and she’s the pastor’s kid in a community she entered at nine weeks old, which makes her the church baby, too.  So, there is no shortage of presents and attention and praise for this girl.  (Pro Tip: She’s totally worth it.)

But as a PK, Zoe spends more time in nursing homes and assisted living centers than most preschoolers.  She certainly gets plenty of attention in these places, but she gives attention, too.

Yesterday, we visited with the ladies over coffee and graham crackers, sang a few nursery rhymes to a lady with advanced Alzheimer’s, then retired to the day room for a little noodle ball.  (Pro Tip: Probably not the official name of the game.)

Here’s what I think Zoe is learning on these excursions:

1. Not to be afraid of people who are old, or of people who can’t talk / walk / hear / see / eat very well.

2. How to be comfortable in uncomfortable places.

3. How to spread joy.

So, I think if we eat cold pizza for breakfast and are a little fuzzy on the doctrine of the Trinity, we’re probably doing okay all in all.

What Important Thing do you most hope to pass on?  

Or, what Wrong Thing do you most hope to avoid sharing?



Filed under Preschool Theology, Your Moment of Zoe

11 responses to “The Things We Teach Our Children

  1. Susan Latzke

    What a wonderful write up . When I read it I broke into tears my heart melted with joy to see Zoe playing ball with the elderly woman in your photo . What a blessing she is . And as for cold pizza in the morning for Breakfast it covers all the food groups and is one of my favorites . Hurray for leftover Pizza !!!! and Hurray for Zoe and Maggie !!!


  2. Manda

    I am as jealous as the day is long that you have an adorable child to take to nursing homes with you. I would kill for visitation props like that.


  3. Jenny Olsztynski

    I can’t believe Zoe is already 3. Maggie, you and Mike are wonderful parents. And great parents still eat cold pizza for breakfast. I hope Zoe will be at Claire’s wedding with her dancing shoes on!


  4. Beautiful. Your doctrine and teaching Zoe the most important things in life trumps the number of hours someone does or doesn’t pray. And even though this clearly is not your case at all, it also trumps whether or not people go to church. Kindness, love, compassion, caring, sharing, knowing God and thanking him daily can be enough. “What a wonderful world it would be” as Mr Rogers would say. 😉


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  6. Sue

    One Important Thing I hope Grace picks up on is, well, grace. The Wrong Thing: still watching the computer/tv during meal times. Hope to change that once she can actually tell us how her day was.

    As an aside, I want to know what is on the tv screen in the background. Reminds me of those pictures of things really magnified and the challenge was to guess what it is.


    • Good answers! I was delighted when, the other night at supper, Zoe prompted me, “Ask, ‘What did you do in preschool today?'” And I did, and she answered. So, that day will be here in no time for you!

      Ha! I wondered when someone would mention the TV screen! I believe they had an afternoon soap on, and I think that is a close up view of a very buff man’s arm and chest. A little racy, but I let it slide.


  7. Katie Streit

    Just catching up on some posts I’ve missed. Love this one! Love Zoe!


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