Monday, February 25, 2013

What I Want For Them

As parents, we think a lot about the future.  How to make sure our kids have a stable future.  Doing what we can to guarantee a happy future for our kids.  What we can do to keep them safe so they HAVE a future without insulating them too much.

We think about the big picture, but we rarely think about the little things. I don't, anyway, and it's the little things that really make life.  The inside jokes and the private moments.  The shared love of weird foods and that song that always makes you think of that one time with that one person.  The nonsensical traditions and same-ol' stories and holidays you've shared.  Those are the things you remember.  The things that make families so idiosyncratically wonderful (and, sometimes, awful).

So when people ask what I want for my kids, I tend to stick with the obvious: happiness and health.  And I do want that for them.  Desperately.  But I want so much more.  I want the little things in their lives to make them laugh until they can hardly breathe.  I want them to cry with joy.  I want them to experience beauty and make beauty.  I want them to know and live and bask inside the kind of love that they have allowed me to feel.

And, so.  What I want for you, my sweet, uber-naughty little boys.

I want my boys to love vegetables, to really look forward to a good salad and relish rainbow colored food.  I want them to be art and book lovers, to find the painting they can stare at for hours or the book they quote and reread until it's battered and dog-eared and riddled with annotations.  I want them to continue to love to dance, to be willing to bop up and down without caring who's watching, to lose themselves in the music and surrender to it well into old age.  I want them to love poetry.  I want them to be able to find the humor in any situation and to create it if they can't find it.  I want them to be true to their word.  I want them to understand sarcasm, because sometimes it's the only way their parents are capable of communicating.   I want them to enjoy cooking and baking and practice both with glee.   I want them to never be afraid of who they are and to live proudly and confidently.  I want them to do what they love.  I want them to be good friends- to each other, and in general.  I'm want them to learn to handle disappointment with grace.  I want them to be willing to scrub a toilet or do laundry and to do both competently and without being asked.  I want them to be feminists and to understand that equality IS and doesn't need to be earned.  I want them to always remember how to play.  And finally, I want them to always, always, always be willing to sit and have a cup of coffee with me.

(Although, honestly, I'd settle for just being fully potty-trained first.)

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This post was inspired by a discussion amongst an amazing group of women that I know, but don't actually know.  They are brilliant and kind and hilarious.  They very often make my day.  And their kids are going to be some seriously amazing people.  Thanks, Smarties.

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