August 24, 2010
My wish list
When I was expecting my son, Benjamin, I was unsure of a lot of aspects of parenting. I was apprehensive about being responsible for an actual human being. Beyond the basic nurturing responsibilities I was even more concerned with how I would teach him how to love. How to graciously accept love. There is no text book instructions on this matter, so therefore I simply jotted down the basic principles that mattered most to me:
I want my son to learn the fundamentals of love. That it is unconditional, forgiving, but not blind. I want him to love himself as much as I do if not more. It is that solid sense of self worth and self awareness that will help guide him through the foggy times in life. I want Benny to experience the peace and calm that is created when loving others and being loved in return. Whether he travels the World or decides to buy a home a block away from his parents, I want him to feel HOME. I want him to have self worth and a sense of purpose even if he doesn’t know what it is. I want him to value time. Time is priceless. It cannot be withdrawn from a bank. Once it is spent it does not return. I hope he understands that mistakes are made. Poor decisions can sometimes inexplicably lead you to a better place. I want him to learn the power of forgiveness; not just for others but also for himself. I don’t want him to ever feel lonely but I hope he can enjoy the freedom and peace of meditation and solitude. I want him to learn to be accountable for his words and his actions, and I want him to hold others to the same principles. I want him to have success. Maya Angelou had a great definition for success: “Success is doing something you love and doing it so well people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
I want his imagination to run free even when the gravity of reality weighs him down. I want him to know that life is only blurred beginnings. There are no ends; just twists in the plot. I want my son to enjoy the journey as much if not more than the destination. I want him to desire recording memories, and yet I also hope he has moments that are so breath-taking that he would rather store them with his own senses. For taking a picture does not always grasp the impact of the image. I hope my son is inspired by the good in the world. I would like him to smile at a stranger at least once a day; for that may be the only light in their darkness. I want him to laugh so hard it hurts. He can also cry when he needs to. (Men DO need to cry sometimes.) I would also like him to comfort some other hurting soul, even if he is himself is in turmoil. I want him to know all there is to know about our often goofy but always loving family. I want him to feel worthy when his bank account is low, and to know when to put some away for a rainy day. I want him to appreciate nature and how plants, animals, and even insects all seem to live symbiotically. I want him to get butterflies in his stomach during his first kiss. When he looks in the mirror on his ugliest of days, he should still have love for himself.
All of these wishes are not simple text book lessons. These are lessons he will learn from experience and from witnessing the above actions in his family. Even when my son was just a little “bean” with a heart beat I had the feeling that a.) he was a boy b.) he was healthy and strong c.)that he would teach ME more than I could probably teach him. A lot of these concepts I have mentioned are lessons that I am still learning myself. It is kind of like putting together a puzzle. There is no winner or MVP. No one rides the pine or gets traded. This relationship that my son and I have is a cooperative effort; a journey. For me, personally, I believe that there isn’t a puzzle out there more beautiful than the time spent with a child to piece it all together.
~Sheila L. Good