Having a child is still so surreal to me; even after almost 9 months I often look at him and wonder when his parents are coming to pick him up! There are more times though, when I look at him and see a very deep recognition and familiarity. It’s those times that I truly reflect on what we’re actually doing here; we’re conditioning a very small human to grow up and go out into the world! Who will he turn out to be? What will he contribute to the world? How will he treat others, how will others treat him??? Wow, that’s heavy! Or maybe it’s not…
Since I got pregnant, I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on my own childhood, which took some work as it’s been a while! But, I consider myself to have had a pretty good, positive childhood. My Mom was an excellent nurturer and loved me unconditionally (still does, actually). My Dad was a great provider and instilled a good work ethic in me. While that’s an incredible start in a person’s life, I can’t help but wonder what they didn’t provide. What I mean is, when you grow up, you’re in an environment with a group of people that is likely, all you’ve ever known. You build your life experience on exactly that. But, what about all the stuff that sneaks in between the lines?
Let me give you an example of where I’m going with this…my birthday is on December 29th, just 4 short days after Christmas. People always ask me “Wow, doesn’t that suck to have your birthday right after Christmas???”. My answer is always this “No, because it’s all I’ve ever known!!!”. Seriously, how would I know if I’d rather have a birthday on March 3rd or August 17th??? This is what I’m talking about with passing on our life experience (or inexperience if you will) to our children. Yes, my childhood was happy for the most part, but that doesn’t mean that I should provide exactly the same experience for my son. Now, don’t get me wrong, he will ALWAYS be nurtured, provided a calm, warm, safe place to be and I’ll do my best to teach him all the good stuff that I learned, but I feel it’s my duty to go above and beyond that.
It’s too easy to just say that I’ll bake him cookies, hug him a lot, teach him how to grow tomato plants, iron a shirt, sew on a button, and stand up for himself! I need Payday Loans to teach him the things that I haven’t learned yet, like how to genuinely express my feelings to the people that I love without fear, or how to let go of your old patterns and think outside of your own box. I can always provide my son with a good-smelling, soft, well-decorated place to fall, but can I provide him with the skills that he’ll truly need to succeed as a whole, fulfilled, prosperous human?
Sure, I can teach him how to work hard and the value of a dollar. That’s easy. But can I teach him how to have the confidence, self-worth, and fortitude to go after what he wants, gracefully and when he gets it, to respect it?? I’m not sure…because I’m not sure I know how to do that! I can teach him how to treat a lady, how to make her feel special, and how to pick a strong one…but can I teach him how to not lose his shit when she pushes his buttons, or how to remember to show her day in and day out that he really does love her? You know…the kind of stuff that “good” marriages are made of, the kind of heart-skills that people need so that they have the confidence and strength to stay in their good relationships and not have to go through the pain of divorce or worse, stay in an unhappy marriage. ***Note: Matt and I have each been married before, my parents divorced after 21 years, and Matt’s parents have been married and divorced 3 times each.
So, this is what I am pushing myself to think about these days…above and beyond the obvious life skills and nurturing, how can I dig deeper within myself so that I can provide my son with an even richer set of skills and experiences? How can I heal my own unhealthy patterns so that he doesn’t inadvertently learn those along with the stuff I’m trying so hard to instill? It’s those sneaky, stealthy things that find their way in that I worry about now. Am I passing on the pain, bad habits, and yet-to-be-dealt-with issues along with the stuff I think is good for him? Yes, I am.
Maybe it’s easier than that…maybe the answer is to learn that it’s okay to have faults, lessons that you’re still trying to learn, and to make mistakes, as long as you’re always striving to dig deeper and learn more! Like they say, the internal journey is far more vast than the external…or something like that!