Pretty sure I know what you’re thinking right now: who wouldn’t want to me more like our
spoiled fortunate American children? But hear me out. For the first time in all the years I can remember, I’m not making any resolutions. This is very out-of-character, as I am an avid list-maker. But what I like most about lists is the crossing-off part, and with resolutions, it’s not about doing something once and checking it off for good. It’s usually about making lasting changes. Which, instead of inspiring me, feels a bit lofty. And since one of my resolutions last year was to not put so much pressure on myself, well, there you have it.
But celebrating a new year feels so full of potential and promise. I still feel motivated in the personal growth department.
Raising three kids ranging from 17 to 14 to 8, I have the great joy of seeing life through the eyes of a child. For many years now. To my delight, the house is often filled with kids of all ages — my own and their friends. Awesome kids. Talented and smart kids. Inspiring kids. Kids who make me think.
I kinda want to be just like them when I grow up. Here’s why:
1. Kids choose fun over chores. That’s no secret, but I have been known to turn down quality time with gals because I just couldn’t abandon the house in whatever state of disaster it might have been. What kid would do that?
2. They prioritize their passions. In the course of a week or month, like all busy families, my kiddos can be found at any number of these: golf, soccer, scouts, music lessons, marching band, youth group. Work here and there. Time hanging with friends. And then there’s the full-time school gig. In which, to my great appreciation and relief, the kids are thriving.
They have figured out how to get through all that is required of them — chores, grades, and still have time to devote a large chunk of time to doing what they love. I, instead, feel like I have it backwards — usually I’m not able to pursue my activities until say, the laundry is done. Or the house is picked up. Or all the errands are complete. But, thing is, those are cyclical, so they are never done. Which means that sometimes, I need to just take a break in the sunshine and spend a few minutes with that book I’m enjoying, or put the minutiae aside and meet up with friends for a walk. Find the balance.
3. They work hard. And pretty much without complaining. Big growth opportunity here!
4. They are rarely rushed. Ok, this one can be really exasperating when we’re trying to get out of the house. But lately I have been deliberate about following their lead in this department, because what’s the point of arriving somewhere on time (or even a few minutes late — usually no biggie) — if you’re all frazzled and infuriated?
5. They are resilient. And I’m not just talking about the general stuff of life. A while back, my kids watched their dad nearly lose his battle with a severe and sudden bloodstream infection. Which he thankfully survived but came home from his two-month hospital stay as a double, below the knee amputee. Our boys were nine and six years old then, and our infant daughter just a few months. Talk about resiliency — the boys were so thrilled to have him home, that any accommodations we had to make in our daily lives were done without hesitation. Really, they were role models for me, accepting this unexpected turn so well. Same goes for all the kids in our community, many of whom called my husband ‘coach’. I am forever grateful to the parents in my town — however you all prepared your kids to handle this situation, you did it beautifully. No one missed a beat when their athletic and healthy coach suddenly became a double amputee. In fact, one boy said his prayers were answered, “we finally won a baseball game AND Coach Craig was here to see it!”
Whatever your hopes for 2014 are, I wish for you that they are all realized.