Monday, March 25, 2013

Not Even A Mile

Yesterday, for the very first time, my husband and I didn’t have to drive our youngest son to practice; he was able to drive himself.  It seems to be that every time my oldest hits a milestone I am always so proud, excited and incredulous.  Conversely, whenever my youngest hits those same milestones, although still proud, excited and incredulous, there is always an element of sadness knowing that it is the last time for that particular “first time.
After the birth of our second son, it was a comment that I heard often, “Two boys? Oh, just wait until they’re teenagers!” which would often accompany shaking heads and rolling eyes.  The pleasant surprise to me is that their teen aged years have been the BEST time in our family.  Each one of them have made comments to my husband and myself of the things we did right in terms of raising them; things they have told us that they would continue in their future families.  As you can imagine, no amount of accolades or monetary compensation can compare to that.
Last week, our oldest even said that he has always wanted to grow up to be just like his parents.  I know he said that as a way to compliment us, believe me, that wasn’t lost on me, however I felt I needed to realign his thinking.  I told him, “Son, your Dad and I would consider ourselves failures as a parents if all you purposed yourself was to become like us.  You were meant to stand on our shoulders, not walk in our shoes.”  I’ve also heard it said this way: Our ceiling should be your floor.  If you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about; not only do we want the best for our kids, we always want better for them! 
What is awesome is that it doesn’t matter how many kids we have or if we have any at all; we will always have people in our lives we will “parent”, right?  And we always get a chance to pour into them our experience and wisdom.  Conversely, there are always good people who want to “parent” or mentor us and pour into us their wisdom as long as we’re open to the legacy they freely give.  Most times being mentored by someone wise can blur the lines of “age” or generation.  It’s what makes the “generation gap” a lie.  
Today, I am challenging each one of us to keep our eyes open for opportunities to teach, and our minds open to having a teachable spirit.  We can learn to appreciate those who have gone before us, and we can inspire those who have the energy, strength and endurance to carry on after us.  And boys – listen to your mom when I say, don’t walk even a MILE in my shoes!  Thanks.

-Tessa L. Charles

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