Why is it that our children are always the most beautiful children in the world? I think my sister was tapping into the reason when she said: they are a combination of the people we think most beautiful in the world, ourselves and our spouse. Cocky though it sounds, especially written on paper, I think it’s probably true. We identify with those features: they’re familiar.
The character features are fun to identify with too, or not. When they comfortably shine in a group, that must be my imprinting. When they say something awkward, aiy, that must be me too. I believe they are their own person too…entirely created for a different reason than just identifying with their parents.
It is these character imperfections that get my attention more often than the character perfections though. My desire to right the wrong often takes precedence. A wise woman once said that it isn’t the time you yelled at them in the van outside the grocery store that they remember, or the days of planning for their birthday party. It is the overarching themes that you were conveying: the ones that often went unsaid. The things that showed themselves as valuable in your life, with or without your spoken word.
I’m in the midst of it, the thick of it: the parenting years. The kids are getting bigger, 12. The kids are still small, 4. And two inbetween. I’ll read it, write it, try to remember it:
“If I had to raise my child all over again
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch more with my eyes.
I would care to know less and know to care more.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
I’d see the oak tree in the acorn more often.
I would be firm less often and affirm much more.
I’d model less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love”.