Friday, December 14, 2012

What I Want for My Children

Christmas is right around the corner, and I have to admit that we love spoiling our kids at Christmastime. Every year we say we're going to cut it way back, and we sort of do. But no matter what, we try to make it amazing for them. This year is no exception, and I cannot wait to see their excitement on Christmas morning. With four kids, plus the gifts that Chris and I exchange, our living room will be pretty insane. While that's all well and good and incredibly fun, what I want for my kids goes far beyond material possessions and a room full of wrapped gifts.


               Beautiful memories

I feel the bone crushing weight of the world on my shoulders, to provide all of this for them, and so much more. I want them to have what I didn't have, what I did have, and what I hope to have someday. I want to open their eyes to the world around them, and make sure they know that their place in it is more than just that of a casual observer.

I want them to remember to enjoy life, to set lofty, improbable goals, and to remain vulnerable. Vulnerability allows us to love deeply and freely, without worrying about what tomorrow may bring. When we build walls to protect ourselves, we keep people out and prevent ourselves from growing.

I want them to fall down 100 times and get back up 101 times. I want them to let their tears flow and to never hold back their laughter. I want them to do what they fear and to love with wild abandon. Heartbreak and failure may come, but have we lived fully if we have not experienced both? Let your hearts break open, my babies, it means that they are bursting with love. Where love is, more will grow. You have taught me that.

I want them to hold success in their hands, whatever that may mean to each of them individually; to breathe it in and relish its essence. I want them to understand that their lives are malleable, that they can change so much, but that some things are out of their control. I want them to not lose sleep over those things that they cannot change.

I want them to apologize and forgive. I want them to never doubt my love, and to know that I'm so sorry for all the times I screwed up, for my mistakes, miscalculations, and angry outbursts.

Of course, this is an incomplete list. It's only the tip of the iceberg, really. I think it's fair to say that I want the world for my children, the parts that can't be ordered on Amazon or picked up from Target. Christmas will be fun, and they will love all of their presents. But when the gifts have all been opened and the wrappings are in the trash, I hope all of the other intangible things are what they cherish most and remember most clearly. That magic of waking up early and quivering with excitement.  The joy of giving. The flood of love and gratitude. The knowledge that someone knows them and loves them so well and so dearly, and has noticed them and paid enough attention to them to choose just the right gifts. The warm tingly feeling of togetherness and sharing.

All of these things I want for my children, more than anything that can be bought. Some they will have to earn and find for themselves, but I hope more than anything that I'm setting them on the right path so that they can do just that.


Tracy Balderach said...

Beautifully written and yes, they will adore what you are doing for them in these years! Hug your babies a little tighter- I know you already are. I think there will be many grateful families on Christmas this year just happy to be together. xxoo

alyaia75 said...

Thank you, my friend! You have been on my mind as I know you are so close to Sandy Hook. It's hard to let my babies go right now...I am feeling so blessed and so sad at the same time. xoxo