Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Want

What do you want in life?

How many of us can really answer that question honestly?

What do you want for your children?

That one is even harder to answer, right?

Do you want successful careers, college degrees, marriage and kids of their own? Of course you do. We all want things for our children. We all want them to be the best they can be. To reach higher, to try harder. We want them to do it all better than we did. We want better for them.

But what does that all really mean? Is success measured only in money? Is better only something that can be objectively measured? I certainly don't think so.

Ultimately, I know that the only thing I really want for my kids is to be happy. I don't want them to choose a path in life because they think that I expect it from them. I don't want them to do things because I want them to, or because they think I want them to. I don't want to find myself steering them towards something. I want them to make their own choices, to find their own joy.

I have seen what happens when kids become adults who have been pushed towards something that perhaps they didn't want. One of two things happens.

Either they go along, never really finding out what it is that they wanted to be when they grew up. They trust that others know what is best for them. Then, someday, maybe decades from then, they realize they are stuck. Suppressed by the hopes and dreams of someone else.

Or they push back. They rebel. They break away from the family, create distance. Stop sharing their hopes and dreams as freely as they used to.

I'd hope that as a parent I never put my children in either one of those places.

It's not my hopes and dreams that matter anymore.

I just want to know they are happy. That's all that matters to me.

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