I often wonder how I’m going to mess up my kids. Not if. Just how.
Over the years I have learned to live with my imperfections to a greater degree, but it’s hard when you see your own foibles play out in the lives of your children. I see my perfectionistic tendencies pop up in my boys and I desperately want to save them from that ugly demon. I watch my oldest crave order and I want to shout to him to embrace the mess, because order is an illusion.
Fortunately, life gifts us with what feels like rare moments when we know we are getting something right. Our words have indeed sunk in, and all hope is not lost.
For Mother’s Day my son made the following list for me:
He made a point to tell me he put them in order from the most important to the least. That’s the part that struck me the most when I read #1: “You love me even when I make mistakes.” In my mind, the greatest role in being a parent (or a spouse) is exercising unconditional love. That kind of love is something extra special in those relationships, or at least it should be.
As I reflect, I realize we talk a lot to our boys about how everyone makes mistakes, even grown ups. We talk about how that is the beauty of our relationship with God. We can mess up again and again, and He will still love us. The gift of forgiveness is one of the most powerful gifts we can give one another.
There are thousands of lessons I want my boys to learn. I want to teach them to be respectful, caring, kind, and generous. But more than anything, I want them to know I will love them no matter what. Home will always be a safe place to land.
I will get many things wrong on this parenting journey, but it’s good to know I at least gotone thing right.