I love overhearing talks between my husband and son. A lot of times, it’s nonsensical ramblings — banter about football, complaints about inadequate completion of chores, etc. But every now and then, I overhear magical conversations that give life to every reason I’ve ever been grateful that he is father to the little people I have the privilege of sending out into this world, hopefully to make it better in some way.
Tonight, my husband became frustrated at Tre’s apparent lack of initiative. He stopped in the middle of his chastisement of our son and asked, “Do you wanna be a legend or will you be just like everybody else?”
Tre paused and seemed to give the question some serious thought before he looked boldly at his father and said assuredly, “I’m going to be a legend.”
This is why I will live out the rest of my days with this man. He’s not just watching our kids grow up.
He’s raising them… and not just raising them to be adults, but raising them to be inspired adults.
You see, parenting is not just about making sure they survive long enough to be sent out into this madness of a society to fend for themselves and hope for the best. Parenting is not about trying to force them to be a certain way. Parenting is about inciting a war on the inside of them that makes them fight between mediocrity and greatness so that they have to consciously choose which one they are going to be.
Parenting is not about judging them or criticizing them or making them feel they have to measure up to your standard. It’s about teaching them and giving them every opportunity to grow so that they create their own standard and build an existence that gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Parenting is not about molding them into your idea of what a productive member of society might be. It’s about handing them a chisel and making them give proper consideration to which parts stay and which parts start to get chipped away so that in the end, the life they produce means something to them.
Parenting is not about pushing them to make us proud. It’s about motivating them to create something out of themselves that makes them feel whole and works as a benefit to the world they will in turn create around themselves… a world of passion and purpose.
Sometimes, that means making them decide whether they want to live a life of conformity or a life that is legendary.