There are a pile of books about parenting sitting right in front of me. Unfortunately.
Even with the slew of advise, theories, methodologies I struggle. I carry my own inherit biases and I cringe listening to judgemental parenting conversations. Frequently, I feel as though mothers are pitted against one another. For me being a mother is living the paradox of giver of life, nurturer, provider, and woman. There is continual debate surrounding our sex regarding purpose; who we can and should be and our “natural” role.
I’ve put the books aside. My insight and perspective come from my childhood examples. No matter what I say, where I chauffeur them, how many extra coaching and tutoring sessions I provide, my children will be a reflection of me first, then the people and environments I choose to surround them with.
Last week I celebrated my eldest son’s high school graduation. If I had any doubt, a sure end to crawling into my lap, knocking on my door at midnight with a nightmare. He is an adult, and I never imagined it would bring so much joy. I wanted to scream, like so many I imagine, “that man there came from me!”
I shared a message with him that night. One I wish I was told. We all do that don’t we? We tell the stories, try and pass on the messages we wish someone shook us with. Lessons we missed somewhere along the way.
“…don’t fear pain. It will never be a match for joy. Walking through it leads to happiness.”
I watched him cross the same stage the kindergarteners cross every June. He bounced, a few solid seconds on stage. I was caught between enjoying the moment, filming it, and photographing every step.
It’s the process, in events like these. It isn’t about the five seconds on stage at all. It is about everyone and everything that came together to make it happen; behind the stage, in the preparation, in all the thought and effort. He asked me later if I noticed this detail, or that. We shared a laugh, when we decided together it wasn’t what mattered.
When I tell my daughter every morning (as she rolls her eyes), you will crush every dream. I know where she finds her will and her passion – it will happen, especially if I show her how. I am the base standard, it’s not in any book. Showing up for ourselves, setting a personal moral compass and living our values is the foundation of great parenting.