As the moms and I sat and talked yesterday, naturally our discussion included much about children. At one point, one of the other moms, who also has teens, said, "If people would just realize that they're raising someone's husband or wife . . . " Boy, that struck a chord with me!
My children have been pretty much my world for over 18 years now. They are a part of me, a part of my life. Most anywhere I've gone, they've gone with me. We traveled with them for 2 1/2 years as we raised our support to come to Canada to start a church. We've watched them grow, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and we've laughed a lot. Oh yeah, laughter has been a big part of our lives! They've seen me cry a lot. They've seen us get angry with them and each other, and we've ironed out the things causing the friction. They are a part of us.
But they are not going to live with us forever. Someday they're going to get married and have families of their own. They won't always be toddlers, or grade schoolers, or teenagers, or single young adults living at home. What we are teaching our children today is shaping who they will be tomorrow. What we are allowing them to get away with today will influence who they become tomorrow. If my daughter is lazy today, and I allow her to remain lazy, she will be a lazy wife tomorrow. If my son is unkind today, and I allow him to remain unkind, he will be unkind tomorrow. What I teach them today, they will become tomorrow. If I keep that in mind, maybe that will change my parenting style. Maybe I'll pay attention to their character traits, and cultivate the good ones while culling out the bad ones. And the best thing is that I can still help them, no matter how old they are now! I can still ask my sons to help me with jobs around the house . . . because someday, that knowledge will enable them to help their wives. I can still teach my daughter how to manage her time . . . because someday, she will be a wife who needs to plan her daily schedule around her husband and children. I am not raising perpetual children; I am raising future adults!
Yes, I need to enjoy my children. I need to play with them, love on them, and let them be children (or teens, in my case). But I also need to remember that I am raising them to be adults. What kind of adults do I want them to be? Who am I raising?