July 22, 2024

35 Things I Hope My Kids Will Say About Me Someday


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A mom holding her kid and touching nosesA mom holding her kid and touching nosesPin

I have been making calendars for my grandparents and parents since 1998. The last time we visited, Old Grandma got out the first couple for Joe to see.

One of the earliest ones had a poem in it, one line per month. It went something like this:

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw your hang my painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you tenderly care for dogs and cats and ducks, and I learned to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make me a birthday cake, and I knew that the little things are the most special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight, and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give your time and money to help people who had less and I learned that people who have something should give to those who don’t.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s okay to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I would need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, “Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.”

My parents weren’t perfect because no one is. I’m not perfect, either, and I know my kids will someday look back on some of my shortcomings. I hope they can give me grace and know that I did the best I could.

Here are some other things I hope they’ll say someday when they’re big:

  1. She loved us fiercely. Sometimes, when they are looking forward to the babysitter’s arrival, I feel like I’m not enough. I hope they know how much I love them, and that there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them.
  2. She loved our dad. I hope we’re modeling a loving relationship for them to someday emulate.
  3. She loved Jesus. We take our children to church almost every Sunday, and I know they will remember that. But more importantly, I want them to remember the daily devotions, the time of prayer, and the relationship I have with Jesus. It’s less about where you’re sitting on Sunday morning and more about where your heart lives every day.
  4. She loved people. I got tattoos on my wrists last summer that say love fully and live fully. If I have been successful, my children will remember that I loved people, not just those who could do something for me, not just our family, but all people, from the homeless man outside of Walmart to the children we sponsor around the world.
  5. She loved animals. I am almost as devoted to our pets as to my children. Actually, the cats are a distant second, but still, I hope the girls will remember where they got their love of animals from.
  6. She had integrity. I am very clear about what’s right and wrong, and I am clear about sticking to what I think is right. I’ve been complimented on my integrity often over the years, and I hope my kids see it, too.
  7. She loved her job. I never want my job to be more important than my family, but I want my kids to remember a mother who was passionate for her work, a person for whom working was less work and more purpose.
  8. She worked hard. I want them to remember that I worked hard in everything, not just in work, but in taking care of them and their father, in gardening, in projects around the house, in life.
  9. She made us feel important. More important than my phone, more important than my work, more important than my friends, more important than a clean house.
  10. She wanted to talk to us. Always.
  11. She was always smiling. I’m not always smiling, and I fear that my kids get me at my worst – when they’ve made a big mess, when the house is dirty, when I am overwhelmed. But I try to model for them a cheerful attitude in the thick of it, and that’s what I want them to remember.
  12. She laughed. I wish I laughed every day. I don’t. But I try to laugh often, and it’s usually my kids who bring out the laughter in me.
  13. She cried. I have cried more than a little during some seasons of my life, especially in recent years. I hope they remember that I cried, and that it’s okay for them to cry, too.
  14. She knew how to have fun. Chuck E. Cheese’s, Hersheypark, bowling, living room carnivals. I hope they remember all the fun times we created for them.
  15. She knew how to rest. Rest is as important as fun. I hope they will remember the times when we curled up together and watched a movie and how we treated ourselves to pedicures once in a while.
  16. She always believed in us. No matter what. Whether they aspire to be butterflies (Allie) or veterinarians (Grace), I believe they can make their dreams come true. I know a day will come when the world will tear down their confidence, and I want them to know I’m here to build it back up again.
  17. She lived in grace. Luke 7:47 says, She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal. (The Message) I am not always quick to forgive, but I am working on it, and I hope my kids see more of my forgiveness than of my begrudging.
  18. She was generous. I’m not one of those I’ll give you the shirt off my back people by nature, but I work hard at it. I think it’s the model that Christ himself gave us, and I think it’s important.
  19. She didn’t try to be my buddy. A buddy gets in trouble with you. A mom keeps you out of trouble to begin with, and she doesn’t have a problem correcting you when you’re wrong.
  20. She was my best friend. This contradicts the one above, but I hope someday, when they’re all grown up, that they’ll look back on their lives and realize I was the truest friend they had.
  21. She loved to read. I do read a lot, and I know my kids will remember me and my Kindle, me and my Bible, me and a book.
  22. She was proud of us. No matter what.
  23. She was honest. I guess this goes along with integrity, but I hope my kids can depend on me for an honest view of any situation, an unclouded and impartial opinion. And also to tell the truth even when it’s hard.
  24. She thought we were beautiful, smart, and kind. And told us all the time.
  25. She did what she said she would do. In discipline, in commitments, with others, and with them. If I say I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it.
  26. She let us make our own way. I let them be free range kids as much as I can. I let them make their own mistakes and carve their own paths.
  27. She encouraged us to be independent. I’m not sure if this is the same as making their own way or not, but I let them make their own breakfasts. I let them put on their own shoes. I let them learn to do things for themselves so that they won’t always be dependent on me. {sniff, sniff}
  28. She was creative. Grace once told someone My mom is crafty. She’ll know what to do with this. so I think I have this one in the bag.
  29. She lived in empathy. I try to understand people’s problems and help them to come up with solutions.
  30. She was resilient. No matter what happens, I get through it. Bipolar disorder, my mom’s cancer, weight gain, being hurt by friends, whatever comes my way, I triumph. (Even if it involves a lot of therapy and tears. These things are okay, too.)
  31. She was fair. Fair doesn’t always mean equal, it means getting what you need. I hope they both remember that they always had what they needed, even if it wasn’t exactly the same as their sister.
  32. She was resourceful. I try hard to be thrifty, clever, and resourceful so that my kids will be the same.
  33. She encouraged everyone. In everything. Everyone’s cheerleader, but especially theirs.
  34. She was spontaneous. I like to plan, but they like spur of the moment milkshakes. I try to be a yes-mom, to say yes to them more than I say no. That involves a lot of spontaneity.
  35. She wasn’t perfect. Because I’m not. And neither are they. And that’s totally okay.

Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)

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