Thursday, March 09, 2006

Some encouragement (a follow-up)

I realized I may have scared some of you soon-to-be moms and dads out there with my last post. Sure, being a parent is the toughest job and the greatest challenge I have ever faced, but isn't that what makes us stronger and wiser. I can't say that I'm happier as a parent, because I don't know how my life would be without the kids. But I can say that my life is much richer and has taken on a new perspective since the kids came along. Take a look at grandparents - they are not just good for telling stories of war and hardship, they are overflowing wells of knowledge about life and people. Becoming a parent (and a wife) has taught me that I know very little about people and relationships. If I really knew so much, then everything would have turned out as I expected, right? And because they often don't turn out, it tells me that I have a lot more to learn. A lifetime more to learn.

The day after I posted my rant about my struggles with Abby, I sat down with her and told her how I felt and about my intentions to be a good mom for her. That day I also tried harder to listen to her, instead of just trying to get her to listen to me. I think we're starting to get somewhere. I used to think my job as a parent was simply to direct my child away from the wrong path and towards the right one, but it's so much more than that. Being a parent means that I get the privilege of walking with my child, growing with her, imparting some of my wisdom if she wants to hear it, and cheering for her all the way. Our children are not ours to raise so they can become the beneficiaries and heirs of all our hopes and dreams. Abby is a little girl who will someday become a woman with a family who loves and supports her in becoming the best [whatever it is she wants to be]. It's good to be a mom and it's good to be Abby's mom.

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