As a young mother, I often wished I could see into the future. It would have been so much easier to know ahead of time who my children would become, what path I should encourage them to take, what things would go bad. I longed for someone with experience show me a clear route to my goals. I wanted to control all the variables and not waste any time by doing the things that wouldn’t pay off in the end.
It sounds good, doesn’t it?
However, life doesn’t work that way and, truth be told, I wouldn’t have enjoyed anything that predictable. When I really stopped and analyzed it, I realized that I wanted to let go and live this crazy adventure with my kids. I decided that the plethora of opinions belonging to other people could not speak to my unique situation. I learned to lean on my faith and trust my gut.
Over the years, I found that the sheer volatility of daily living in the real world allowed me to train my kids to:
- navigate the unforeseeable twists and turns
- respond kindly to negative people
- get creative when resources were lacking
- advocate for themselves when things went awry
- work hard for what they wanted
- discover the things that would help them personally de-stress
- cope with people bent on humiliating them
- rise above an impossible circumstance
- find value in each and every day
I got better at welcoming the vagaries of life and the unique personalities of my children. I became more flexible as I realized that mistakes could be our greatest teachers and that no experience is ever wasted.
As parents, we certainly need to exercise wisdom. We need to pay attention and allocate time judiciously. But, more importantly, we need to learn to let go of the fear so our families can experience what it means to live fully.
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