My kids are so much cooler than I am.
I look at my children in amazement with the way they love, the way they play, and the way they forgive.
I’m also taken aback by the way in which they view the world, imitating their role models with absolute sincerity and proficiency. Now I don’t want to brag, but I happen to be one of their role models at this point in their lives. I selfishly allow myself the joy of being flattered by that. Instead of being flattered, though, I should probably be doing 2 things.
1- Making sure that I am ALWAYS exemplifying phenomenal characteristics to imitate.
2- Taking notes, and applying the lessons I learn from watching THEM to my own life.
Imitation may very well be a sincere form of flattery, but it’s also an efficient mechanism we can employ in order to learn new behaviors. So, give your kids the benefit of parents who love deeply, forgive quickly, and who remain curious about the world around them. If even one of those essential elements of the human spirit is inhibited, you will cease to grow, and stunt your ability to be the person you were meant to be. Ironically, your kids will often be the first ones to recognize your acquiescence to a life you don’t fully embrace. I don’t know about you, but that’s nothing I want my children to imitate.
And since we’re on the subject; shouldn’t we actively offer our children every opportunity to learn to love passionately? Shouldn’t we provide them with an environment that inherently thrives on morals and respect, even when they aren’t at home with us? And for God’s sake, shouldn’t we protect their curious nature that yearns to understand the world around them, and that fuels a zeal for life?
Obviously, we should.
But we forget. We grow up. We bury our own zeal with busyness, and stunt our own curiosity with voices of “experts” who point us in the right path, we hope. We put our kids in schools and in activities as dictated by the majority, even when the majority live in confusion and mediocrity. Then we wonder why our greatest imitators grow up to follow along the same road of existence, rather than fulfill their dreams of a life lived, and an imagination turned into reality.
I’ve got a lot to learn about being a father, and I make mistakes far more often than I’d like to admit. But if I get one thing right, may it be in the way I nurture a love of life in my 2 daughters, and in my little boy.
Love hard. Stay curious. Don’t grow up too much.
Lead by example.