This will be the first year in 23 that my son will not be home for Christmas. It is actually a good thing; it is because he found and married the love of his life. I am beyond thrilled to have a new daughter that I did not have to gain 50 to 60 pounds to get…and I am sad that they both will not be able to join us for Christmas.
As a parent, it can be hard to sort out what is best for our kids up against what we want.
We’ve all seen parents living through their kids. Dance moms, football dads, straight A parents, and kids at certain colleges because it was the choice of their parents.
One common theme throughout my parenting was the question: What do YOU want?
In our home we had a boxer, a dancer, and a writer/softball player. They all chose what they wanted to do. They chose their classes for school, and they chose their colleges. (We still have one in high school, and we don’t know where he is going yet, but where ever it is, it will be his choice.)
As parents we sometimes think that what we want for our kids is what’s best. Many times it is, but it is what they want that will stick, and at times, pushing what we want will only hurt our relationship with them.
Our youngest was number one in his class at the close of his freshman year in high school. My husband and I were very excited that he had attained this level—a level that no one else in our family had ever done. As we looked to his future, we were even more excited at the prospect of him graduating number one in his class. What an honor!
However, he was not as excited about it as we were. He didn’t like the pressure or the long hours of homework. (Can you blame him? They get way to much homework in my opinion.)
As we became more excited and he became less excited, it hurt our relationship. Then the saving factor popped up when his report card did not reflect what we had grown used to seeing. We didn’t get upset at all. He was shocked! It showed him that we cared about him more than his grades.
Loving him came before what we wanted for him; not getting upset showed him that.
He is still a good student. He is just not number one in his class anymore. And that’s okay; it was his choice, just like college will be.
Just like whether or not he will be home for Christmas each year…which brings me back to my older son who will be in another state with his beautiful wife and very happy.
After mailing my wish list to the North Pole, I would gladly give up every gift under the tree with my name on it, in exchange for a knock on my front door Christmas day with my son and daughter on the other side. And as much as I want that, what I want more is whatever is best for them; and so on Christmas I will be celebrating and happy, with thankfulness for the Savior and my blessed life.