I’ve been thinking a lot lately about parenting. The responsibility we have as parents to raise our children well. We are given this huge task of molding minds and souls into the people our children will inevitably grow up to be. As parents, we are making PEOPLE. It’s such a huge task, and just about anyone can do it. Sixteen year old kids can create people. It such a common occurrence, I think, that people like to believe that it is common. But it’s not! Having a baby is a beautiful thing. It’s wonderfully awfully beautiful. It truly is magic, whether you can scientifically it explain every thing that happens from conception to birth, you’ll never convince me that it’s not beautiful, that it’s not the greatest thing that our bodies can ever do, the greatest thing they were ever meant to do. And I am so truly sorry to any of you who don’t wish to/can’t have children. My heart is so sad for you. I know what it’s like to think you can’t have children. It took my husband and I a year to conceive our first. I was convinced it would never happen for us, and I was sad. I know, at least a little bit, how you feel.
As I reflect back on today, I think about all the things I’ve taught my children in their short lives. My son is almost three. He is so smart, but his language skill hold him back. I’ve been working with him each day for the last few weeks and have seen huge improvements. Every day, he is adding new words to his vocabulary. Sometimes, I am amazed at the words he picked up and sometimes I have no idea where he got them from. Other times, like today, when his new phrase was “Oh. My. Gosh.” said quite dramatically, I know EXACTLY where he got it from.
He learned it from me.
I didn’t repeat that phrase with him over and over again like I have other phrases. I don’t even remember saying it directly to him. But he picked it up anyway. I know he got it from me, because I say it all the time. He got it from me because I am his teacher. I am his mentor. I am his role model. He wants to be just like me. From carrying around a broken ipod touch pretending it’s a phone to pretending to make food in his play kitchen, everything he knows about being a person comes from me and my husband and the few other adults he is around.
My daughter today showed me that she is also watching. She’s only 20 months old, but she already mimics my moves. She was sitting next to me on the couch waiting for dinner to get done. I scratched my head, she scratched her head. I folded my arms, she folded her arms. She wants to be like me.
It’s not limited to just me. Today when I was doing laundry in the bathroom, my daughter came in, lifted up the toilet seat, and spit.
She learned that from my husband.
So what else are we teaching our children?
Are we teaching them that they are important? Are we teaching them that people are more important than things? Are we teaching them that patience is important? That there are consequences for breaking rules? Are we teaching them that love matters, that relationships matter? Are we teaching them how to be good people. Not just smart people, but good people?
And are we teaching them by our actions?
Because we are responsible for lives. LIVES! We are responsible for the freakin’ future. I see so many people taking this parenting thing lightly. Please, please, please don’t. Those precious little ones are the most important gift you will ever receive. They are looking to you for guidance. Guide them. They are looking to you for love. LOVE THEM. They are looking to you to learn how they need to be. Be good to them. Because they deserve that. And because that’s what you agreed to when you became a parent, whether you knew it or not.Share