The other morning I awakened with a few thoughts on my mind so I decided to write about them. I posted my thoughts on Facebook and the response was phenomenal and unexpected. I received so many “likes/loves” as well as inbox/text/email messages from so many people.
Sooooo, I decided to share what I wrote with you and then added a few additional thoughts about it…Perhaps you can connect with it as well…
Here’s what I shared:
You know, I don’t have kids who make straight A’s.
Actually, one of them struggles daily to just make C’s. School is just hard for him even though he works his butt off.
And I don’t have kids who get it right all the time.
They sometimes forget their manners.
They sometimes make poor choices.
They sometimes have smart a** mouths.
And they sometimes stink.
But you know what?
I have boys who are diligent, courageous, loving, responsible, hardworking, conscientious and “good” kids.
We teach them every day that it is more important for them to be “good” men then it is for them to get straight A’s (but we’ll take those too).
We don’t raise our children to be “winners” in races that really won’t matter for them in the long run of their lives.
Instead, we teach them to be the champion of who you are and be true to the core of what you represent.
Sometimes I wish others could understand our perspective and know that having “perfect” children is not our goal at all…
And if you met any of them you’ll know exactly what I am talking about…
Now here is what else I think about this:
I truly believe that sometimes as parents we place the burden of our own dreams on the backs of our children. I think that we often want “more” for our kids than we may have wanted for ourselves but we define the “more” by our own standards. The expectation, however, is that our children meet those standards.
Are you with me?
So here’s my challenge…
Why are we allowing our dreams to become deferred and then pass those same dreams down to our children?
Why are we becoming slaves in bondage to our unfulfilled dreams?
Why are we not “working our dreams to live our dreams?”
So many times we reach a certain point in our lives when we just “give up” and convince ourselves that it is no longer okay to dream and create plans to achieve those dreams. Instead, it is easier for us to remain in our comfortable misery than it is to strive for that uncomfortable happiness.
We do it because we are afraid.
We do it because we are worried.
We do it because we say the dream for us no longer makes sense.
And we do it because we say the dream is just not practical anymore.
So we pass it on to our children and expect them to live up to the dreams we never fulfilled.
Our sons will be the greatest sports player ever.
Or President Obama.
Our daughters will be the next Dr. Mae Jennings, Oprah Winfrey or Dr. Maya Angelou.
Because we dreamed of being the “greatest” and it didn’t work out so now we’ve passed that dream down to our kids.
But let me tell you something, dreams are not genetic and they cannot be inherited.
Our children have their own dreams.
Their own ideas.
Their own passion to live in their purpose.
And I think it becomes our responsibility to help them travel along the path that God has created just for them.
Not to detour them on a path that we created for ourselves.
Dreams do not come with a warranty or a guarantee so it is our responsibility to work our dreams to live our dreams.
No matter how old we are.
No matter how hard it gets.
No matter about the “coulda, woulda and shoulda’s” in our lives.
We have to do it.
We need to do it.
Because our dreams belong to us and we should not allow ourselves to become enslaved to fear, confusion and doubt.
We can’t let previous pain predict our paths.
And create our dreams on the backs of our children.
We have to love ourselves enough to still believe that we can live a life full of passion, promise and purpose.
We need to believe that we have the tenacity and courage to follow the steps that God ordered for us long ago.
And know that if our Faith remains intact then we will still know that “what is for us, is for us” because God said so.
It’s not for our children….He gave them their own dreams and their own paths to follow.
So when I say to you that I embrace that my kids don’t make straight A’s and one of them struggles to make C’s, I am saying to you that I accept them for who they are.
They are God’s children and because he chose me to be their mother while they are here on earth, I am going to take care of them with their dreams…not mine.
In this process, they will learn the critical things in life to help them maneuver through the trials and tribulations that are married to success and they will be better and stronger because of it.
I love my children.
I love their promise.
I love their purpose.
And I love their dreams.
Because of this, I will continue to be that “foot soldier” parent emerging through the trenches to help guide them along their personalized path of life.
But at the same time, I am still living in my own dream…
That’s called “parenting.”
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