I’ve heard many parents say, “I just want my kids to have the things I didn’t when I was growing up.” I hope Leo doesn’t ever hear those words from my lips. That idea turns parenting into a strained endeavor of getting ‘things’ for our children, projecting ambitions, or making children happy, whatever ‘happy’ means.
It’s not things that satisfy our longing, but being among loving and good people, and walking humbly with God.
It’s not ambition that brings life’s greatest successes, but wisdom and humility.
It’s not trying to make happy children that actually makes them happy, but being examples of steadfast love.
Leo’s carrying a watering can in the header photo. If he carries watering cans his entire life in menial labor, I’ll of course forever be proud of him. He never has to be the person I wanted to be or have the things I lacked. Because if I raised him out of my own unmet wants, he will only be a copy of my shadow, the negative of who I am. I can offer him only the following: I will love his mother so that he will see that love is trustworthy, and he will be loved so he knows that I am trustworthy. And upon that foundation he will be liberated to seek more love and wisdom so to find life’s blisses that are meant only for him—all the things I could never dream up out of my own wants.
“Perfect love drives out all fear.” 1 John 4:18