Ok. It’s 4am and I am bright eyed and bushy tailed from a good night’s rest. I am watching my 6 year old daughter sleep, and there just ain’t much else that I’d rather be doing. I have been blessed with two really good kids. I realize that most parents believe their kids to be good, but these two are especially good natured.
In the stillness of the morning hours, I ponder exactly what it is that I want my children to experience in their lives. The answer is simple. I want my kids to be safe, happy, and successful in every area of their lives. I want them to have all the good, and none of the bad. I want them to win every game and ace every test. I do not want for an ounce of pain to ever be experienced, and be a total stranger to suffering. Every relationship shall flourish, and they will be liked by all who come into their lives. They will go to college, have stable jobs with 401k’s and bonuses, enjoy faithful spouses who adore them, and they shall have healthy children who give them the same peace and happiness that my kids will have given to me. Does that sound about right? Wrong. Bullsh*t.
That is not at all what I want for them. It doesn’t work that way. At least it hasn’t for me. All that stuff I was talking about before would not have provided me with an ounce of satisfaction. Growing up as a white kid in Germantown, with two parents and an entire family that loved and cared for me, it would be tough to sell you on the idea that my life was overly challenging. My parents loved me very much and wanted good things for me, but they didn’t hover over me with a blanket over my shoulders to shield me from danger, and earmuffs so as to not hear the harshness of the world. If they would have, I would probably hate them for it. I am a control freak of sorts, and I am doing my best to enjoy watching the world work, instead of trying to work the world. It is so arrogant to believe that I can make my children be this way, or that way. I can demonstrate these things, but I cannot “make” them “be” anything, any more than an apple can make an orange be an apple. I simply cannot change another one’s nature.
So, if I had my five minutes with Da Big Man in the golden recliner, I would ask for these things for my children. Make them good hearted and caring, but provide that fire when they have been pushed too hard. Give them safety, but not too much. Allow them a broken bone, so they can get their cast signed. Have them picked last, so they can strive to be first. Have them work their ass off for something, and fall short of their goal. Teach them that life isn’t fair, but it’s life…which is more than fair. Have them love till it hurts, and still not be noticed. Give them a season of losses, so to enjoy the big win. Give them the acne, so they will know insecurity. Bend the fender, it happens, move on. Fail that big test that they studied so hard for, take it again, and strive to do better. Have their best friend betray them, so they can better know a friend, and have an enemy befriend them, so they learn to forgive. Allow them some mischief and laughs through misconduct, but teach them the difference between horseplay and harm. Open their eyes to the ways of their family, but let them decide what they will leave and will take. Let them choose what to do with their future, and have them take my two cents worth, but value it as such. Give them the fortune they desire with no work on their part, then take it away so they can see what its worth. Have them not value “things” cause I said, but let them choose things for themselves, for I have not the answers. Have them know what its like when the world’s out to get them, to be beaten, battered, tail-tucked and afraid, then have them bounce back stronger, confident, and brave. Surround them with half-wits, some low lives, and slackers, then give them up-lifters, motivators, and well wishers. Let them make that decision for them, not for me. Push them so hard they will blame you and the world, them give them the calmness to see the real cause. Give them the failures, ridicule, and the scorn, and give them compassion when it’s the other man’s turn. Allow them to see that I don’t have the answers, but I have all the love that I hope they will need. I want them to know that I don’t want perfection, but that I want them to fail on their way to succeed.
Most of all, I want for myself to understand that it is not my job to make them into anything, but to be there for them as they become something different. I don’t want to control, but to appreciate and admire all the things that they are, and decide to be. I want to remember that just because I like something a certain way, that it does not make it right. I want to be always accepting of their beliefs, viewpoints, and their system of doing things. I hope that you have a good day, and experience as many ups, downs, and in-betweens as life has to offer you.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,