I know this may not be the most original topic. Everywhere you look online there seem to be articles complied of lists people want for their kids; Things their boys need to know, Things girls need to hear from their moms.
But lately I have been really grappling with the issue of legacy and what exactly it is I want to instill in my kids before I die. I find myself thinking quite obsessively over the fact my job is quite a significant one and that the lessons I teach my sons now are going to shape who they are and ultimately who they become.
Truth be told it scares me shitless and the thought of leaving them EVER is one that sends me into a mild state of panic and depression. On the flip side I would like to think that part of me will always live on in my children and that I would have instilled in them the good parts of myself.
While all these things are no doubt taught in time and over the various age appropriate years, I hope I will begin to unwrap these qualities as time allows. I realize I am going to need grace in all these areas, because lets face it, it’s hard getting half these things right as an adult, but I am going to give it all I’ve got in laying down the foundation for my sons. In doing so I hope they will begin to understand how these kind of values and lessons will impact their lives and all those around them.
- I want to teach my sons kindness. The kind that is selfless and uncompromising.
- I want to teach my sons to love themselves and value who they are as people. That they would know that while they may not be perfect they are perfectly made.
- I want to teach my sons about God and all he has done for us and continues to do for us daily.
- I want to teach my sons to befriend those who are lonely, to support the downtrodden, to stand up for the underdog.
- I want to teach my sons how to separate their washing and look after their clothing in between washes.
- I want to teach my sons the importance of finishing strong, of never giving up no matter how hard things may get.
- I want to teach my sons to love and respect ladies without chauvinism, but with respect, dignity and just the right amount of charm.
- I want to teach my sons to be compassionate and sympathetic towards to the poor, the lost and the weak.
- I want to teach my sons to not be scared to get their hands dirty in both the fun times and in situations that require hard work. (I swear I will teach them how to use a wet cloth to wipe down counters and empty a dishwasher. For their future wives I will do this!)
- I want to teach my sons that money does not equal happiness, that excessive wealth and greed-induced money can in fact be toxic. I want to show them that true happiness is found in God, nature, people and relationships.
- I want to teach my sons that it’s ok to make mistakes, that we are all learning. I hope they will learn valuable and life changing lessons from the mistakes they make and grow wiser through those experiences.
- I want to teach my sons to dance. The Rock ‘n Roll silly kind now, but the romantic slow kind kind later.
- I want to teach them to be honest, not only with others but also with themselves. I really want them to know what it feels like to life with the truth on their side. To find freedom in honesty and not getting caught up in lies and deceit.
- I want to teach my sons to open doors and offer seats for girls, that from a young age they will know what situations like that require of them.
- I want to teach my sons how to live in the moment and be grateful for the possibilities that each new day brings. That they would take life by the horns and grab opportunities with both hands.
- I want to teach my sons about falling in love, the way I did with their father. That through us they would be shown that true love is a beautiful thing. That although it takes work, having someone to share every aspect of your life with is an attainable and wonderful thing.
- I want to teach my sons to look for the beauty in the word and in people before they look for the bad. I want them to know what it feels like to see the best in people.
- I want to teach my sons how to pursue their passions, even if they are not hugely profitable or encouraged by a world so often obsessed with money.
- I want to teach my sons sacrifice, and how so often it really serves to pay off.
- I want to teach my sons to cook, to appreciate creating yummy things with quality fresh ingredients and to know how to make supper with the four ingredients in the fridge.
- I want to teach my sons how to make the prefect cup of tea. Enough said.
- I want to teach my sons gratitude, to live each day with a deep gratitude for all the things they have and not be too focused on the things they don’t.
- I want to teach my sons that it’s ok for men to cry. They need to know that there is so much beauty in moments of vulnerability.
- I want to teach my sons about grace, that even though we may deserve to be punished at times, there will times that call for grace and an extra dose of unconditional love.
- I want to teach my sons to work hard for their own success, to not jump on the quick and easy bandwagon or take shortcuts but that they would know the value of hard work and dedication.
- I want to teach my sons to not take EVERYTHING so seriously. I want to teach them to laugh so hard that their tummies hurt. Laughter is about the best kind of medicine there is. I hope they never lose sight of just how important it is to laugh in this life.
- I want to teach my sons to be generous. Yes with their pockets but most importantly with their time. I want them to know what it feels like to really be there for a friend in need, to always give of their time and not treat time or people like a commodity.
Writing all these things down is no doubt overwhelming as I realize I have to be leading the way and living by example. I guess this is one of the many responsibilities of becoming a parent; we are forced to change too, to constantly be challenged, and always striving to better ourselves so that we can hopefully be someone we want our kids to imitate.
So while these may be things I want to teach my sons I realize they are still things God and the world are teaching me everyday. Things that they will hopefully learn sooner than I did and things that will carry them through this life all the wiser and all the happier.