Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Hope for My Children...

As I was walking my dog this morning, I came across this freshly cut tree stump.  It caused me to reflect.  This stump revealed to me that this tree was healthy and strong.  It was not rotting from the inside out.  It had laid down ring after ring of years of experiences.  My prayer is that if I were to gaze inside each of my children I would see the same thing, that my children are strong and healthy from the inside out.  That they have what it takes to weather the winds of this confusing and at times depressing world.  That their self identity will continue to support them in their life paths.

As parents, don't we all hope and pray for this to be the result of our shared time with our children? We all go through the moments and days and years trying to build resilience and strength into our children from the inside out.  We want them to lay down rings that speak to their self worth, their talents and abilities, their hopes and dreams.  We want their rings to connect to their roots--to us their parents, to their aunts and uncles, and grandparents.  The generations of those who walked before us and sacrificed and loved and pushed forward their hopes and dreams and ideals in order that we may become all we were meant to become and in turn grow another generation dedicated to the future hopefulness of our collective existence.

But forming strong rings in our children requires an element of struggle.  Children who have everything provided to them and are expected to contribute nothing, do not grow strong rings. Children who have parents who solve every issue and rush in to always make everything better, do not grow strong rings.  As difficult as it is to hear, children grow rings through pain.  Children grow rings through struggle.  Children grow rings through perseverance and work.  Children grow rings through controlled rebellion and parental love, nurturing and authority.  Children grow rings through a spiritual life.  Children grow rings through valuable friendships and positive social interactions--and sometimes by weathering the storms of disappointment in failed friendships and peer relationships.

I hope that as parents, we all can understand the value of raising our children to have strong rings and deep roots, for our good and all the good that is to come into each of our children's lives.

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