I was asked the other day what kind of hopes and dreams do I have for my kids? I had to think for a minute. What dreams do I have for my children?
I don’t care if they grow up to be millionaires. That’s not important to me.
I don’t care if they grow up to be the most successful or even the smartest in their classes.
I don’t care if they grow up to be the prettiest or the best or the sportiest or the tallest or the richest.
I want them to grow up to be the kindest ones out of the bunch.
I want other parents to come up to me and say, “Hey, AJ was really nice to that kid.”
And I heard a glimmer of that the other day. He volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club and I overheard one of the staff members telling him that the little kids loved him there. That makes a mom’s heart swell with pride. To me, that means that AJ is being nice to the little kids, that he’s taking time to give them attention; that he’s playing with them, that he’s spending moments learning their names. That’s what I want from my kids.
That they be kind and nice.
My other hope is that they know they are loved completely by us. They can grow up and not be millionaires. They don’t have to get straight As or be the most influential people in the world. But they need to know they are loved and they need to know how to love. That they are able to tell us how much they love us, and mean it, at their ages, is immeasurable to me. That my 13-year-old can openly tell his grandfather, “I love you, G’pa,” just for the heck of it … well, that again makes me a proud mom.
We are an open family that gives a lot of love. We do group hugs, we share, we talk, we say, “I love you,” countless times, we kiss. My husband kisses my boys just as much as he kisses my daughter and me. There is never enough room for affection in our house.
Love and kindness. That is worth more than all the money and success this world can offer in our home. How much is it worth to you?