I was reading Erma Bombeck the other day. Actually, I read her almost everyday. You see, I try to keep one of her books in the bathroom. The bathroom is my hideout. (Gross Out Warning!) I pretend to be constipated and hang out in the bathroom reading my daily dose of Erma. This way I get a few extra minutes of Kid-Free Time and a laugh or two to lift my parenting morale.
Yesterday I was reading her book, At Wit’s End and she went on for pages about what she wants for her children, her hopes and fears. It was amazing to read her words; they were so real to me as a mother. Even though my kids haven’t tried to rush puberty or even know who Betsy Ross is yet (so they can’t possibly think she was just a committee member who needed a service project to keep herself busy), I was able to understand her. I have my own fears and hopes for my kids. Some are the same as hers, and others are different.
I won't bother going into my fears because they are all things that I can control. I'm not really worried about the world influencing them. I know that Nathan and I can have a greater influence with them if we teach them correct principles and live by them ourselves. I'm more worried about myself as an example to them, making sure I'm worthy of the label, "Example."
My hopes. I have so many hopes. Above all I want them to have a personal relationship with God and Christ. I want them to know they are loved not only by their family, but also by a Heavenly Father and Savior who suffered, died, and lived again for them.
Megan just astounds me sometimes. The other day she was dancing around the house and making up songs. She does this quite frequently and every time she does, the song is about Jesus and the Plan of Salvation. She was singing about how Jesus helped us come to earth because we needed to get bodies with our spirits and how Jesus died, but he came back to life with no owees.
I want them to know that studying is cool and to actually learn how to do it. I didn’t ever really learn how to study until college. I had little need for it in high school, but certainly still could have used it.
I want them to be patriotic. I want them to know that the flag means something special. Not just that it waves in front of the local Macey’s where they give free cookies to little kids. I think we’ve gotten a good start on this one. By a very lucky chance, Megan loved flags when she was very young. She always pointed out the American flag though, not the Utah state flag or anything other flag. Still every time Megan sees the flag she gets excited and yells, “America! We live in America!” She knows that we live somewhere special. We need to make sure that Jeremy learns this, too. We need to explain the importance of the flag. What it symbolizes. Its history.
I want them to be generous and tender-hearted. I want them to cry when they see someone else cry and desire to help those less and more fortunate than themselves. I want them to look for opportunities to serve others, but most especially, each other.
I want them to go after their dreams and not wait for them.
To learn how to correctly play different sports so they can decide for themselves if they want to be athletic or not.
To keep their stubbornness even though it drives me nuts now. One day it will mean that they will make their own decisions without being swayed by the crowd.
I want them to learn to make happiness their own. Never let it be in someone else's power to make them happy, that only means someone else can make them unhappy.
Now the question is, how do I help these hopes come to pass? I guess the first move would be to get out of the bathroom. . . .