This summer, I’ve seen a new side of my kids’ relationships as the way they mentor one another has come to the fore.
by Heidi Indahl
Sometimes my six kids play well together, sometimes they fight, and other times they seem oblivious to one another. This summer, however, there has been a fourth option, because this summer has been the summer of mentorship.
I remember clearly my oldest son slowly and carefully learning to be an altar server alongside older children and the occasional seminarian. This was a sweet time for me as his mom, and I have always enjoyed seeing him volunteer for this role in our parishes over the years. Until this year, however, I always saw him as the younger child looking up to the older ones.
It snuck up on me that he is suddenly the experienced one. During a recent Totus Tuus week at our parish, he volunteered to come during daily mass and assist in training new altar servers—kids who looked up to him the way he once looked up to the older boys who taught him. All week, I waited for my second son to join the other boys learning about this act of service they can give to their church; then Friday came.
I walked into the sanctuary, and there were my boys, preparing to serve together. Younger brother with older brother. All I have is this hasty cell phone picture taken (mostly) discreetly while we were waiting for Mass to begin. But it’s enough, enough to show how this relationship is changing.
In the same way, the six-year-old looks up to the ten-year-old, and the three-year-old looks up to the seven-year-old. Their relationships are changing and growing before my very eyes. They have taken hold of this new role in one another’s lives and our family.
It reminds me that as parents we can teach our children a lot, but some things come better from someone a little closer in age. You are never too young to be or to have a mentor.
How are your children’s mentors? How have you seen mentoring play out in your family between your children?