Whenever I look Addison, I’m continually amazed that such a beautiful being emerged from my body almost two years ago. Her devilish grin and contagious laughter is the fuel to be a better parent each and every day. But some days when I look at her, that toothy smile strikes a different cord in my heart.
In light of our new president entering the office, protests, and recent world news, some fear has started to settle into my spirit. I look at my daughter and am afraid for her and what her future will look like. I’m scared of circumstances that are beyond my control. My daughter, who’s spirit is fierce, is naive to the pain and fear that is muddying our media. I look at her and wonder what the world will be like when she finishes school. Will her spirit be as unrelenting as it is now or will the world try to bring her down with it?
Tonight while Addison and I shared our favorite mango sorbet with strawberry bobas, I had this realization that I could be sharing my sorbet with a future president, activist, manager, scientist, professional athlete, doctor, or evangelist. The tiny fingers scooping bright pinks bobas out of the cup could one day be writing life changing documents. She has the potential to be an influencer and leader.
This realization, though it seems obvious, sank into my heart in a different way. No matter where Addison ends up, I have the privilege and responsibility to raise her in a way that sets herself up for success. The characteristics that I want her to carry into her future, are ones that I should be living out as her parent. I want my daughter to stand up for what’s right, even in the face of adversity. I want her to be unrelenting when it comes to righting the wrongs around her. It’s her responsibility to care for those who can’t care for themselves. It’s her responsibility to be kind and loving to all people despite the differences she has with them. And it’s my responsibility to teach her.
I usually view myself in a darker light. I try to be a good person but often feel like I’m failing. I feel like my flaws are constantly in the spotlight. I know in my head these things are not true but I can’t help to fear that Addison will pick up on all the negativity rather than the positive. And when you know you have a future leader sitting next to you (that may or may not be smashing crackers and feeding them to her canine counterparts), it adds a little bit of pressure into the mix!
If you are a parent, remember that you have the most important job in the world. You have the power to shape history by shaping your children and it is the greatest privilege. Remember that if you feel like you’re doing a bad job but are trying your best to do right by your children, then you are doing a good job and are a great parent. Don’t let life bring you down. You rock!