Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What My Children Deserve

I just thought I would share with you a thought I had the other day.
Most of us grew up without. Weather we grew up without the popular clothes, shoes, toys, or we were not able to be in the dance, sport, martial art, or musical programs we wanted to be in. Maybe we grew up without an idea of financial security, college funds, or getting a brand new car handed to us like the other kids had. But
we grew up, little worse for ware, but with an idea ever growing in our minds. "My children will not grow up lacking anything! I will do whatever I have to do to make sure my child has everything he (or she) deserves!"

As adults we started developing our work ethics early on. We worked overtime and showed up for every shift so our boss would know we meant business and soon learned overtime meant lots more money, or we got our education so we would be sure to earn a good living. But a good education and a reputation of being dependable does not go as far as working longer and harder, so no matter what the preparation, we seemed to find ourselves working longer and harder, either to stay ahead, or because we wanted to do a better job.

Then the children came, and HELLO, it turns out they cost more than we budgeted or imagined. So we went back to school, or took more hours, or took the job that meant leaving town for day at a time, because it meant more money. We weren't being greedy, honestly, we just wanted to make sure we provided for our family, we just wanted to make sure our children had a bright start and a brighter future. The sky would be the limit for our kids, and who says you have to stop there? After all, that little baby could be the next astronaut if that's the path in life he wanted. Our child would not have to worry about giving up dreams on account of money. No Sir, Not my baby!

Then those sleepless nights came to an end, finally, if we were there for them, cause lets face it, if you are not willing to work the graveyard shift once in a while they will promote someone else. Day care is a must, not that we want to say goodbye to our baby, but with both of us working, money will come easier and maybe we wont have to work as many ours or be gone as much. In the long run it will be better.
Then the day comes, with tears in your eyes you kiss them goodbye as they make the first long walk from our arms to their desk, because they are starting school. It happened so fast!

So they go to school, and you go to work, everyone comes home for dinner together, by the time dinner is done yo are exhausted, but you had to bring some work home. You get right on it, and before you know it here come the kids for a goodnight kiss, and they are off to bed. If you are lucky, you get to spend a little time with your spouse before you drift off to sleep. And day after day is much the same, you see each other little, and once sports, dance class, or band starts, you see each other even less, but at least they got to be a part of these things you missed out on. At least they have the nice clothes and no one makes fun of them for wearing hand-me-downs, and they can relate to the other kids when they talk about the newes t toys or video games. It's worth all your sacrifice to make them smile... right? After all, if that's what it take to make sure my children have what they deserve, if that's what it take to make sure my child does not grow up without anything, then so be it!

But wait! My children, your children, all children deserve a parent! and we are working so hard to make sure they don't grow up without the things we didn't have that we take from them the one thing we did have... we make them grow up without parents.

We never wanted this to happen! We love our children! It's not that we don't want to spend time with them, we just wanted them to have a bright future. But we can spend so much time providing for their future that we miss their childhood, we take away a part of their childhood. And unless we stop, step back, re-prioritize, and make a conscience effort to make their childhood wonderful by being with them and showing them how much we care, they grow up missing that everything we did was supposed to be for them. They grow up and have no real relationship with mommy and daddy because they never really know them. They were there on nights and weekends like those free long-distance hours that everyone is too busy to ever use. Lets not drift in and out of our children's lives but be the rock that they depend on, the one they know will always be there.

Some one has to show our children how to grow up into a proper adult, some one has to help our children grow to know and love God. Some one has to show our children how a marriage aught to be. Someone has to show our children how to be parents. If we don't do that who will? Their therapist? Their in-laws? Their Preacher? Sure they may help, but they cannot make up for a lost childhood, for growing up orphans because the corporate world took their parents from them.

For Christ sake, get off your computer and spend some time with your child! Read them a book, take them fishing, hunting, have a tea party, lay out under the stars, just let them know you are there and you love them. And I do not use the term "for Christ sake" flippantly. I mean do it for Christ. Make sure He is in their life, make sure they know He is in your life. And building your relationship with your child is God's work, because being a Christian is all about building relationships. Relationships with God, our fellow man, and our family, and helping them to build those same relationships. Anyone can father or mother a child, but only someone who focuses on the most important things can be a mommy or daddy. So what if your child is not set for life by the time they graduate high school, money cannot make up for a parent, for a Savior, for a life without end. So, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
(Mat 6:19-21)

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