Hope for My Children

Most parents I know have certain expectations for their children’s lives – they have hopes, dreams, and goals for their children.  Some of these goals are educational, some financial, some familial.

The other night, as I tucked my son into bed, we shared the following conversation:

M:  Mommy, only boys can be daddies, right?

Me:  Yes.  Girls are mommies, and boys become daddies.  But, you know, boys can also become priests, and then they become dads to a whole bunch of people!

M:  But, Mommy, I just want to be…  I just want to be…

Me:  Yes?

M:  I just want to be me.

Me:  Oh, sweetheart, you can just be you.  And, that will be okay!

As he fell asleep, I thought about our conversation.

I began wondering about how simple my dreams are for my children at their young age.  It’s easy for me to sit here, hoping and wishing they follow Christ and His teachings, and learn to love and defend God with all their hearts and in all their actions.

Yet, I know that life gets hard.

It will get hard for me as they grow up, and are exposed to values and experiences that run contrary to Christian faiths and values.

It will get hard for them, as they are called to defend their own actions and beliefs – either to their peers, or even to their own parents.

It will get hard when they are faced with making choices that they know will impact the lives of themselves, if not others.

I don’t want to shelter them from the trials and tribulations of life – I want them to learn and to choose their course.

As such, Christ is the standard bearer for the virtues of love, acceptance, and mercy.  He spoke His mind, and preached the path to the Heavenly Kingdom, even when others didn’t want to hear His words.

He then gave His life for the sake of our souls!

I want my children to know Christ, and to not be ashamed of living out the values and virtues He espoused while on earth.

I want them to be able to defend and uphold their faith, remaining loving, gracious, and merciful.

I want them to have faith in Christ, and to seek Him, and lean on Him when their lives get tough.

And, as my son so innocently queried, I want them to be who they are.

 

10 Comments

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  1. Out of the mouths of babes, right? He put into words the whole Catholic idea of vocation– be who you are. That’s so much deeper that what you’re good at, what you look like, or what you enjoy. Be who you are. Beautiful!

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  2. You can do only what you can do. What you still need to do for them is teach them about the people and places who will try to take their faith or confuse them when it comes to faith. In our high school there was a required class in history. For half the semester the teacher taught about other faiths/religions. Short story: two of my kids quit going to church. It wasn’t until we tried to move Mo to another school to avoid that class that the school principals knew what was going on. Too late for two and no such class any more for the rest. Hard as you may try and as much effort as you put into preparing them for their faith future, don’t forget about the influences that you presently don’t know or see. That is where parenting becomes hard and influences become stronger than your words and example. Praying for you….

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  3. Beautiful innocence! There was a youtube clip not too long ago and they asked the same question to kids and to adults. Their answers were completely different. The question was something like ‘If you could change one thing about your body what would it be?’ The adults would answer things about their physical appearance, their hair, their thighs, the colour of their skin… But the kids would answer things like ‘wings, so I could fly’ or ‘stretchy arms’.
    Society shapes us to be someone we’re not. We lose our innocence and strive for things that are unattainable but Christ grounds us. Peace yo!

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  4. Daily prayer can help them learn to rely on Christ. Just simple ones like praying for car spaces (I know, cliché), thanking God for the food we have, to look after someone travelling etc. I try and let my children hear me praying too, asking for forgiveness if I’ve done something wrong, going to confession with me etc. You’re right, we can’t force, but we can light the way.

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