As parents we work hard to teach our kids to be good, wholesome young people. We insist they say thank you, clean up after themselves, and promise not to fight endlessly with their siblings, only to be convinced that your parenting skills have fallen on deaf ears. Then we find out from neighbors, friends and teachers that they have been behaving exactly as we have been trying to teach them all along. They just don’t do it for us. At least they are ‘getting it’ outside of the home.
Recently my wife’s brother and his wife had their first child (aah the sleepless nights). Unbeknownst to me, my mother-in-law had asked all her grandchildren including my kids to complete a ‘Baby Book Form’ that asks the author to complete a set of sentences, providing personal advice and well-wishes for the new baby that will be placed together in one heirloom for so-mentioned baby posterity. My mother-in-law contacted me the other day to ask me if I had seen my son Peyton’s form that he had completed. I had not and so she proceeded to read what my 12 year old boy authored for his one month old cousin.
Sometimes in life, between the frustration of being a parent and the inability to convince your child to clean their room, not talk back to their mother, or annoy the life out of their younger sister, you receive a ‘sign’. You discover that just possibly your own kids not only ‘get it’, but have something to teach you about being a better person yourself. The following are the responses my boy wrote down for his very new red-headed cousin Zachery:
We’re All So Excited You’re Here
Wishes from: Peyton
I hope you learn: how to play sports and have fun, but at the same time to have sportsmanship
I hope you love: life
I hope you get: your dreams
I hope you laugh: every single day
I hope you never forget: how much your family loves you
I hope you are not afraid : To show off
I hope you ignore: people who try to bring you down
I hope you become: a great person
I hope you respect: everyone who meets you no matter how they treat you
I hope you grow: to be a very kind and responsible person
I hope you remember: that you can come to your family whenever you have a problem
Ok, I was wrong. He get’s it and maybe in the midst of trying so desperately to instill in him a good heart, an honest approach to life and strong character, I might just start listening to him a little more. Well done son, well done.