I want so many things for my children.
They aren’t what I typically hear other parents say.
I don’t fantasize about my children being grown up and married with kids. I don’t daydream that they’ll have good paying jobs. I don’t envision them always bringing home As.
This isn’t to say that I don’t want these things for my girls, or that these aren’t lovely aspirations. But what I want for my kids is much simpler.
I want things like this:
I want them to be honest. I want them to be so honest that sometimes they feel they’ve shared and bared too much.
I want them to be confident. I want them to know (and demand) their worth.
I want them to find happiness. I want my children to continue to see joy in seemingly insignificant hiding places inside of our ordinary lives.
I want them to know that they are not ordinary. I want them to understand that none of us are—we are all special and valuable in our own heroic ways.
I want them to take care of their bodies. I want them to recognize that we eat healthy foods and move our bodies because they house our souls.
I want them to love. I want them to know that learning to show and receive love begins within ourselves.
I want them to work. I do hope that they have enjoyable jobs that support a good life, but what I want so much more than this is for my children to appreciate that life requires effort—to appreciate working hard at everything we do regardless of potential rewards.
I want them to be proud. I don’t mean pride as in arrogance or conceit. Rather, I refer to pride in who they are as individuals—I want them to refuse to allow society’s judgments or stigmas to color their own self-perception and, more, their own sense of self-worth.
So, yes, I want many things for my children. Yet none of these things come with price tags, paper certificates or even public recognition.
Because it’s true that a life well lived begins with knowing who we are, and accepting what we find.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr.