There are moments in this life that stop you in your tracks. They shift your universe and make you start evaluating everything around you. One of these moments happened to our family last month, and I am grateful that it’s given us the opportunity to look at what is important and “cut the fat” from our lives.
My father was diagnosed with cancer, and is scheduled to have surgery in the next few days to hopefully remove it all from his body. In the time since he’s been diagnosed, there has been a lot of thought and discussion about the impact parents have on their children’s lives. My dad is one of the great loves of my life, and the threat of losing him shook me to my core. He is the kind of parent I hope to be for my son. We were scared, yet optimistic, with the diagnosis. Our family is in the best scenario of a bad situation, and I hope to report next month that this mountain is behind us. Life is about moving forward
With that said, I want to remind us all this Christmas about the things that really matter to your children. We were all children once too, and it’s important to remember what made an impact, and what didn’t. It’s all I’ve thought about lately.
A reminder about what really matters
- Children will not remember the toy. They will, however, remember the time. Time with our children is the most valuable thing we will ever give them. I am guilty of working long hours sometimes, so that I can afford the lifestyle I think my infant “wants and deserves”. The truth is, he doesn’t care. He wants me there, laughing with him, and teaching him about the world. I urge you during this holiday season to spend the time where it is actually most important… with our children.
- Change is temporary, confidence is forever. We have all had a lot of changes in our lives. New jobs, new friends, new towns… it can be exciting and scary at the same time. What we need to remember is how we treat our children during these times of stress. Are we giving them the tools to be confident with change? To love and know themselves enough to be able to handle a bit of boat rocking? To have the confidence in themselves to be kind, instead of cruel, to others? We often forget how much our children depend on us for courage. I know that now, because even as a mother with my own child, I am looking to my dad for answers on how to navigate this change in our lives.
- Your children worship you. Worship them back. Take the time to put down your phone and be present. REALLY present. I think often about what it must be like for my son to experience everything in this life for the first time. What an incredible gift I have been given to be his guide through this life.
- Stocks are cool, but the real investment is in relationships. We only get a handful of opportunities to make an impact in this life, and our children are watching us. One day our children will be grown and the impact we had on them will have more influence than anything else in their lives. Think of the magnitude of that, and cherish with everything you’ve got.
This holiday season, I encourage you all to hold your loved ones close and focus on instilling values that will last them a lifetime. It will mean more than anything you could ever put under the tree.