Jean on Passion and Parenting: A Message for Parents
Spent more money creating a perfect looking home? Or spent more quality time with your kids? In twenty years from now where will you wish you had spend your time, energy, and focus?
Our daily lives are surrounded by constant noise. Everything and everyone is competing for our attention. Look at me! Listen! Do this! This will make you better.
But who do you want to be? What kind of parent do you want to be? What do you want your children to remember about you and their childhood when they are older? What do you want to pass on?
We need to look at our children. Ourselves. Our families. Our lives.
Our children are only ours for a few years and then they go out in the great, big, wide world. They will find someone else who will care for them while they are sick. Someone else to take them to the hospital. Someone else to share their joys with. They’ll start a family, have their own children.
While right now parenting may feel like a big, and at times, overwhelmingly long journey and that there is plenty of time–there isn’t. Our parenting journey is broken into such small pieces that days, months, and years whittle and slip away while we take care of ‘real life.’ True parenting isn’t an hour here and there, it is a constant event that requires dedicated vigilance that will shape behaviour and expectations. Real life is an intruder and a thief who willingly interferes with what we truly want, who we think we really are, and the amount of quality time we choose to spend with our kids.
Cherish each moment. Take pictures. Write down your stories.
Put down what you have in your hands and in your mind and focus on your kids.
Be there. Listen. Hug and comfort. Offer advice, but mostly just listen.
Regain perspective. Press pause.
Turn off the gadgets and go somewhere unexpected. Somewhere off the beaten path where you don’t know what is going to happen next. Stop at Sasquatch crossings. Scream for ice-cream. Pitch your tent at the base of a glacier. Attempt to eat a cinnamon bun the size of your child’s head. Explore a burned out forest. Look over the edge of a cliff. Jump in the water. Laugh. Sparkle. Renew your joy.
Listen to your own heart beating. Listen to your spouse. Your children. Your family.
What do you hear? What do they tell you? What do you see?
Spend some time.
Sleep on the ground in a tent under a five-thousand-year old glacier for three days. Freeze your butt off in the constant rain. Play cards and smell the air.
Build your character.
Create the people your children will grow to be.
Create memories. Family experiences. Inside jokes.
Marvel at the moss hanging from the trees and wonder why you didn’t realize that of course it isn’t going to stop raining–you are camping in a temperate rainforest. Oh my god, we’re camping in a rain forest under a glacier! (And we’re bear bait! Ahhhh!)
When it comes right down to it, you don’t need much. Just time.
Borrow a tent if you need to. Rent a car. Go.
We have such a small window to shape our children into the people we want them to become. To create the bonds and strengthen them so they will last a lifetime. To create a connection so strong and vital that our children will want to include us in their adult adventures. Such a short, short period of time to shape them into the adults that will make us so unbearably proud.
We must give them room to grow, learn, and fail while the stakes are low and we are there to catch them.
Be there to model who we want them to be.
Time is our most precious resource. Spending time with our kids is what matters. It builds resiliency for the real world and real life. Time is a limited, valuable asset. Invest your time where it will have a good rate of return. Where it can grow.
And whatever you do, don’t stop believing. You can do this. Every day.
Every day is a gift.
Parenting is the most important and most influential thing you will do in your life. You are shaping someone’s life. You are creating a person.
Parenting isn’t a competitive sport, it’s a contact sport. Get in contact with the people who share your home.
Build a family. Build a connection. Build memories.
When your kids have grown up and moved away–what will you wish you had done? In twenty years from now where will you wish you had spend your time, energy, and focus?
What will the ‘future you’ wish the ‘today you’ had done?
Make it happen.
No excuses. No regrets.
I’m right here behind you.
You can do it.