When your baby is born, you spend hours wondering who he or she looks like. Family members get into heated debates over who’s genes are more dominant. New parents eagerly scan their babies in search of SOMETHING that links them to this pink wrinkled fluff ball. When people ask me who I think my kids look like, I jokingly say that they have their Dad’s good looks, which is fine, because they have my brains. Ha! But further than that, as my babies grow and I witness firsthand how their little personalities develop, it makes me wonder what qualities I REALLY want them to inherit from their father and me… after all looks will get you pretty far in life, but it’s manners which maketh a man – or little boy and little girl in this case.
I hope that both Liam and Hannah will take after their Dad when it comes to dealing with people. My husband believes that all people are inherently good but some go “bad” somewhere along the line. He gives all people the benefit of the doubt, taking them at face value, and doesn’t pass judgement based on their lifestyle choices or how they look or what the grapevine has to say about them. I think this is an admirable trait to have; today’s society is so cynical and sceptical, we think that everything has a catch, that everyone is out to get us or rip us off. Imagine if we all gave the next person a chance, imagine if we chose to listen and understand before we jumped to a conclusion based on negative hearsay. Imagine the impact we’d have on other people if we allowed them to prove themselves and their worth, before assuming that they were worthless? My husband engages positively with everyone he meets; he rolls down his window to talk to the irritant who washes your windscreen with dirty water at the robot. He hoots at the Outsurance pointsmen, in thanks. He asks the cashier and the packer how they are and what time their shift ends and how they will get home (while I say in irritation). He always has time for the underdog. I hope that Liam and Hannah will be the same. I hope they will love others, for that person’s sake, rather than from what they can gain from the exchange.
I hope they will inherit my love for family and friends. I love being with people, I am a very social being and I thrive on other’s people’s company. I like to bounce ideas off other people and I like to hear their opinions and I question their choices – not in a weird way – but because I like to know what makes people tick. I love spending time with my parents and with people I love. Nothing makes me happier than being in the company of good friends. I think this is so important from a development point of view. When you allow other people into your life, it stretches your heart and grows your capacity to love. In turn, these people are the ones who will lift you up when you are going through a rough patch, who will offer you support and who will stand by you when you need a shoulder to cry on. Life without people to love, or people to love you back, is scarcely worth living. I hope that Liam and Hannah will be people who others are drawn too, that the love they have for others will be infectious and contagious, that people will WANT to be around them because they will be just THAT cool to be around. I hope they will remain childlike, that they will know how to let their hair down and enjoy life. I hope they will not be fuddy duddies who spend hours at the office (no disrespect to the hard workers!), but that they will cherish relationships more than log books and spreadsheets.
In that vein however, I hope they will inherit their Dad’s amazing ability to follow and stick to a budget. If there is one thing I think we need to teach and instil in our children from a young age, it’s how to manage money. I hope that they will learn the value of saving and understand that nothing worth having, comes easy. I hope they do not follow my bad example of being a complete loser at keeping a budget. I hope they listen to their Dad when he says that having an account at every second shop is BAD and if you can’t afford to buy it cash, then you have to save and wait until you can. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way and I hope my kids will be wiser when it comes to money.
More than anything, I hope my kids learn the love of the Lord through us. My prayer is that they will be God fearing, that they will come to know Jesus in a deep and personal way. This means we have to guide and direct them by example, which isn’t always easy for us fallible humans! I hope they are influenced by the good in the world, that they don’t become jaded by the way the world is turning. Above all, I want them to be people of integrity, who are honest and reliable, with good morals and values.
We all want the best for our children, and to a certain degree, we as parents are partly responsible for the type of adults they will become. So as far as possible, I want to grow good babies and do my bit in growing good adults.