Things I want for my children...

It's so easy to be a parent...before you're a parent. I've learned in my brief tenure as a mother that I know pretty much squat about raising kids. It's the most humbling, emotional, learn-as-you-go job I've ever had...and for that reason, it's the most rewarding.

It's so easy to sit back and condemn other parents for their choices...of course, it doesn't mean that is right or even useful. I'm sure we've all done it though..."Oh look at so-and-so. I am NOT doing that with my kids!"

Like it or not, my mom and dad provided me with one of the few models I have to follow on how to be a parent. First and foremost, thank God I had them. They were tough, and maybe not affectionate enough, but they taught me invaluable lessons about this life and how to live it.

In light of those lessons, I wish for my kids to understand the following:

~That the things they learn in school are inconsequential in the grand scheme of life. The most important thing we learn in school is how to learn. School and academics are just a jumping off point.

~That the squeaky wheel might ultimately get the oil, but it is *always* better to give the sweetness tactic a go first. People respond much better to sugar than salt.

~That failure is not always merely just a failure. It is a means to improve ourselves. We live and learn...and if we don't grow from that, only then are we an actual failure.

~That we are responsible for our own actions. If you did it, it's on you. No one else. Finger pointing might be a knee-jerk reaction, but basically, it just makes you look like a jerk. And that is all.

~That all of our blessings are just that. We have been blessed with more than we deserve, and it can all be taken away in an instant. We need to accept all of life's blessings with gratefulness, and share as much of it as possible with people who haven't been as fortunate as us. It's not an obligation, but a responsibility.

~That getting dirty, getting hurt (both the physically and emotionally), being embarrassed, saying the wrong thing, making the wrong choices are all a part of life. Your other option is to live in a bubble (but even that won't protect you from all of those things).

~That in this life you will meet people who challenge you, infuriate you, raise your blood pressure, make you think. Thank God for these people. They will either enlighten you or convict you, perhaps both...but they are the people who make you *you*.

There are many more things I wish and hope and pray for my children. I pray that they will be successful, that they will live up to their God-given potential, that they will be happy. I pray that they will be respectful and gracious. I hope that they know they are loved. At the end of the day, I know that it is on me to provide the foundation that allows for these things to happen. These are the things I wish for them. And for the parents, I wish for us the patience and fortitude to do right by our children.


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