Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's all about the love

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning.  We were discussing the Christmas holidays, we both spent them with extended family, our houses were a tad bit messy, recalling how our children were behaving, and that they really enjoyed presents from Santa.  

Making shadow puppets

And it made me start thinking.....

"What is most important about raising a child?" 

 I've come up with what I think is the answer for our family.

I want our boys to be raised to become responsible adults, living a life full of laughter, teaching them to believe in their faith, feeling unconditional love from their family, and to feel safe.  To be in an environment to flourish and to be nurtured, to be helped along in life by us, not hindered.  Communication is the key, I want to teach them to talk to each other, not to hit or yell at each other.  I'm constantly telling the boys to use kind and loving words toward each other.   Although, I know I will repeat myself nine million times, I know that they hear me, and I know that it will stick with them.  Just when you think that they are not listening, out comes something that you've said to them several times...and BOOM there it is!  They hear everything, good and bad.  I need to lead by my example.  They are constantly watching me.  I am their instructor in life.  They are with me more than anyone else.  I want to be able to talk to God one day and say..."I tried my very best for my boys, did I do a good job?"  I want and hope to hear..."Donnie, I couldn't have asked for more."

Responsible= having to account for his actions (whether right or wrong), a quality person (and a quality person of his faith), believing in himself, following through on his duties/obligations, dependable.    

"My child will do what he needs to do, and not necessarily what I say.  If I'm patient, then he will be patient.  If I speak gently, then he will be gentle.   Whatever I want him to be, I have to start becoming."  -Helen Hunt

(My all time favorite quote about a parent's behavior.)

I don't want to raise a perfect child.  They will continue to make mistakes in life, which will shape their character.  I want to allow them to stump their toes and learn.  I love to LOVE my children, to show them what love is, by my actions, my voice, my touch.   I want them to remember how much I love them.  I strive to correct them in love not in anger.  If I am too angry, I need to assess the situation, and come back to it if needed; send them to their room - time out for my little boy AND myself.    Don't get me wrong, they are given warnings, time outs, and spankings if needed.

With God's guidance and help I'm able to relay his love, expectations, guidance, and sense of safety to the boys when disciplining.    As another one of my friends Renae W. says...."You want to love with your hands....not hurt."  Ahhhhh, I've always loved this advice from her.   She's truly an awesome mother of four amazing children, and has the unspeakable patience of the ultimate mother.  

I want to nurture my children as much as I can, when they are older I want them to take that feeling with them.  I want them to pass it on, especially being a father to their own children one day.  To know that they were loved, no matter their imperfections.  I don't want that glimpse of doubt to ever be present.  When they've had enough nurturing, I know they'll one day pull away, they'll thrive and bloom on their own, and I'm okay with with that.  I know up until that day, that I've given my all in the end. 

I don't remember being very nurtured growing up, until being with my Grandparents on a regular basis, maybe that's why I'm so focused about this particular subject with my children.  I remember my mom working many different jobs, when she had an hour or two in between jobs, she'd manage to hang out with us a little.  Hanging out meaning-  sitting on the couch watching TV, or having get togethers with her friends playing cards.  One particular day, I can remember wanting her attention so desperately when we all went to the pool for a short time, she was playing in the pool with someone else's child, I wanted her to play with me.  I swam over and pushed her to a corner by myself, and wanting her to interact with me, not someone else's child.  I needed that one on one time with her, and just didn't get it.  I was pushed aside.  My feelings were hurt, but I was used to it.  I needed quality time with my mom.

From this episode with my mother, I know how important it is to have one on one time with my boys, even if it is only 15 minutes a day, and I'm extremely tired.  It doesn't matter, I need to push through and give them what they so desperately need.  I don't want any regrets on my part.  I wish I would have.....and so on.

I want to enjoy every minute with them, although I know parenting is not always a bed of roses, it's the hardest, but most important job I've ever had.  I'm going to wish for these loud noisy days.  I'll miss the fussing and fighting, a messy house scattered with toys, and sticky floors spilled with drinks.  But, the thing I'll miss the most, is the little boys at age five that I have right now, they'll never be five again.  I don't expect more from them than a five year old can give.  I don't want them to grow up immediately and act like an adult.  I want them to be five, and that's what I expect.  I'll miss the hugs, kisses, smiles, and the I love you's on a constant basis.  One day I'm gonna miss this, that's why I'm living every minute right now. 

It's all about these little rascals right here!

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