Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I am a Parent

Well, shock of the century, here's me spouting off about something again:) 

I worked on this post after reading a post from Sarah, whose blog was the first one I ever read and happens to be my favorite to this day.  Seriously, she's amazing, and cracks me up because she gets all awesome-fiery, and does it with such tact and without apologizing--LOVE that!

Anyway, she really was talking about the teenage girl (and younger) phenomenon in regards to clothing, magazines, movies, music, etc. and how we could ever combat that as moms looking to raise basically, wholesome kids.  She called for a parenting revolution--and, as usual, I TOTALLY agree with her.

I've long thought that parents should have to take a vow, similar to those we take when we choose our life partners.  Although I'm sure this will evolve over time, here are my beliefs on paper.  (And, just to clarify, my husband is a wonderful partner, but I was looking at these things as something each individual would need to choose themselves, so that's why it's written in the first person!)

I am a Parent.

I am a friend to my peers,
but not to my child.

I will not use my child
to fill my own voids
in love,
image,
or popularity.

I am a soft place to fall
and sometimes a hard place to land
because I have standards
that I will not compromise,
disown,
or lower 
for any reason.

I will teach my child
about God
and His wonder
and tell him
about how He has changed
my life.

I will let my child roam free in nature,
growing, touching, climbing, learning,
and even sometimes falling
all on his own.
I will be there to dress his wounds
but I won't hover.

I will not get in the way
of my child's core being,
but I will direct his energies toward good.

I will allow him to fail.
A lot.
And develop the confidence
that comes after finally figuring it out
after so many failed attempts.

My child will understand the value
of hard work
and money
because he will learn by doing
and by example.

He will learn
there is no task he is too
important to complete
because he will be
made to do
some mundane
gross
difficult
but necessary
tasks.

He will not have everything
he wants
or everyone else has.

I will teach my child
that our bodies
are temples
and we must treat them
as so
in all we do
in regards to ourselves
and others.

I will not be a part of
teenage gossip
drinking
sexualization
or inappropriate trends.
I am not a teenager.

I will not allow him freedom
in all things.
media
fashion
friends
play
in my home
will all happen
and sometimes not happen
under my watchful eye
as I deem appropriate.

I will not
inherently trust him,
but I will allow him
to build trust over time
and enjoy the privileges
that come with trust.

I will not allow him
to quit something he started
midway
or not try his best
at all times.

I will allow him
to choose
what he loves
and pursue those things
with enthusiasm.

I will not complete
his school projects
at 3am
on the due date.
He will take an F
and the consequences
that come with it.

I will encourage
questioning
but I will
have the final say.

I will continue to
learn
read
talk
research
about parenting
because I know that I
don't have all the answers.

I will make
well-informed choices
that suit our family
even if and when
they may not be
popular.

I will do my best
to make our home
a place that fosters
happiness
creativity
peace
love
fun
respect
from and to
everyone.

And I will
mess up.
A lot.
And I will
apologize.
A lot.

But, I will not become
complacent
about parenting.
Because I love
my family
and my child
and I know
that all children are 
precious gifts.

And I truly believe
that raising a child
to be a 
competent
confident
happy
healthy
fulfilled
faithful
adult
is the greatest
opportunity
challenge
blessing
responsibility
joy
that I will ever know.

I'd love to hear your thoughts/additions:)  What would be in your "parent vows"?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lessons from a 2-year-old

As he just turned 2, Wardie's language is just exploding and he's like the mayor--saying hi to EVERY person he sees no matter where we are.  No, really.  I mean everyone.  No one is immune.  The toddler, the grandma, the angsty teenager, the grumpy old man. 

But, it doesn't stop there.  He says hi to people that I (even though I hate to admit it) would probably never consider talking to.  Worse yet, I would probably go out of my way to avoid them.  People who don't look "safe" or "healthy" or "good" in my eyes.  And, I've made this oh-so-insightful determination in a split second, mostly without even thinking or knowing anything at all about the person.

But not Wardie.  He gives them a big grin and raises his little hand in a wave and says, "hi" in his sweet sing-song voice.  You know the funny thing?  Most of the people I would normally walk by quickly with my head down turn right to him and answer "hi" back.

Now, I don't plan on letting him run around making friends with any stranger he sees on the street.  But, what real harm is there in saying hi?  When did we become so scared of others and/or so judgemental that we can't even look people in the eye?  So what if that person isn't "good"--are we more likely to be hurt by them?  Or does it just move us out of our comfort zone more than we're comfortable with?  And who determines the level of "good-ness" anyway? 

When I saw his little face today full of joy just in saying "hi" to someone, it almost made me tear up.  It warms my soul when I see how pure his little heart is. 

As a parent, we're given so many responsibilities in making decisions for our children.  Some believe that success is molding our littles into who they should become.  For me, I hope that Wardie just becomes more of himself because clearly, he's doing just fine.

Perhaps we all could learn something from him.