Monday, December 9, 2013

I Cannot Give You, What I Do Not Have

My kids are growing up. Every single minute, of every single day. I have to force myself to take a step back and realize...every minute allows me the opportunity to teach them something. Even when I am being pulled in every direction, from my numerous responsibilities...I can teach them something. It can be as simple as how to make scrambled eggs. It can be as little, yet life altering, as how to tie their shoes. It can be as easy as the pronunciation of a word. It can also be deep. Intense. A lesson that will be a life long learning opportunity.

"Life ain't always beautiful." Right? Gary Allan has an entire song dedicated to the complexities of being alive. While it can hurt and it can cause stress...it allows for a teaching moment. Contrary to popular belief...I don't know it all. (Yes, laugh...that was supposed to be funny.) I don't always know the answer. I don't always know how to fix things. I don't always know what to do. But...I'm not here to fix everything. I'm not here to create this false idea for my children, that the world is easy. How I react to stress, teaches my children far more than how I eradicate the reason for the stress. Real life is hard. My children need to know that they can do hard.

I can't give my children something I don't have. That is a profound thought. Think about it. I cannot provide my children with anything that I, myself, do not possess. If I do not possess self confidence, I cannot give it to my children. If I do not possess a strong work ethic, I cannot give it to my children. If I do not possess determination and drive, I cannot give it to my children. If I do not possess the ability to adapt to change, to stress, to hard...I cannot give the ability to my children.

However, I am also not na├»ve enough to believe that if I possess these qualities and freely give of them...that my children will accept them. I know that ultimately, it is up to the child. They are their own unique person, with their own agency. But...if I don't emulate the qualities that I feel are important...if I don't possess them myself...it is impossible for me to give them away.

I need to be better. Do better. Be more. I need to react to the stress of life in a way that is healthy and beneficial. I do not need to shelter my children from the difficult and lead them to believe that life is meant to be simple. My children need to know that life is hard, but that they are strong.

...and if I don't? If I fail and blow up and make a mountain out of a mole hill? Well, then I guess I'm allowing my children to learn the lesson of apology and the art of righting wrongs. I'm not perfect and I don't expect them to be. Every single minute, of every single day, is an opportunity to grow. For all of us.

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