Thursday, July 10, 2008

What do I want them to remember?

Philip and I were talking the other day about our memories of childhood. I was remembering all the fun things I did with my parents and wondered what things will stick out in my children's minds about growing up. I pray that they will remember the fun things we did and the love I showed, instead of the times I was short tempered or too tired to play with them.

I remembered what our beloved ORU campus pastor used to say. His favorite catchphrase was "hindsight in foresight position." In other words, when you think about the future, what decision are you going to wish you had made? This can apply to everything from laundry to childrearing (ie, tomorrow, when I'm frantically trying to find a clean bra, will I wish I had gotten off my keister right now and done laundry?).

So what do I want my kids to remember? I want them to remember me that I was patient. That I was gentle when I disciplined. That we laughed a lot and played a lot of games. That I read them lots of books. That I included them in my daily work and taught them how to keep a home. That I delighted in spending time with them and was genuinely joyful in their presence.

I don't want them to remember me as a disengaged computer-addicted mom who only disciplined when a behavior annoyed her. I don't want them to remember being treated like a nuisance. I don't want them to feel as though they were not valued, or that their contribution to the family did not matter. I don't want them to feel spiritually adrift and undisciplined in their pursuits of God.

In order for these things to happen I must do as the Psalmist said. "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Ps 90:12). I must remember how short my days with my children are (is Nathaniel really going to be eight in two weeks!?!). It is wisdom to realize that this time of diapers and runny noses and toddler squabbles and soft, teachable hearts is short - I need to make the most of it.


Anonymous said...

Amen. And Amen again.

Lorie said...

This is beautiful! Thank you for your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Very insightful Tamara. I hope you have good memories of childhood and I fear there are too many sad or painful ones. I think that is the fear of any reflective parent. Like that expression "hindsight in the forsight position".

CathyRose said...

Your family is beautiful and they are blessed to have you as a mom. If only more moms felt and did as you, we would have a much better world. Blessing to you!

Tracy said...

Your children are so lucky to have a wonderful Mom like you. Thanks for your inspiration sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! After going through a very long deployment and being "single" Mommy this hits home. Thank you for the inspiration!

Jessi said...

Thank you, Tamara, for such an inspirational post. I think I worry too much about rearing brilliant, well-mannered, disciplined chidren that I'm taking the fun away out of being at home with me.

You've made me think back to my childhood, and unfortunately, can only remember the facts...Dad was gone a lot, Mom stayed home with us but didn't "play" much. I hope that I can find a balance between fun/playtime and discpline so that my children can have wonderful memories of being home with me.

Manda said...

I've been thinking on this subject quite a bit since I read this post a few days ago. It is so important not get so caught up in the difficulties of daily life with little ones that we forget to think of the future, both on earth and eternal. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!