By Kristal Clark
Do you ever wonder what kind of people your kids will become? Or if you are doing this whole parenting thing the right way? For me, these questions fill my mind every day. I am constantly trying to build them up into kind, caring, compassionate, and hard working people. Sometimes, I get so consumed by this that I forget to appreciate the people that they are right now.
A few Sundays ago, I was reminded that they are already all those things that I strive for them to be. I woke up with a headache, sore throat, and cough. It rapidly worsened and I tested positive for COVID-19. I began to panic. Who would take care of my kids? Who would make sure my teenager made it to school? Who would make sure my four younger kids, who were sick as well, were OK? I’m a mom and I do not have time to be sick.
I woke up the next morning to my 14 year old daughter.
“Don’t try to get up, mom. I checked on all my sisters and they are good. I’m leaving, too, but I wanted to make sure you didn’t need anything first. Don’t worry, I’ll get them settled when I get home, too. You can sleep.”
It was in this moment that it hit me…they are already amazing humans.
As parents, we spend so much time thinking about what we are doing wrong, what we can do better, and if our kids will be ok. It is easy to get so caught up in the stress of raising good humans that we miss the amazing little humans that are right in front of us.
As the week went on, each of my younger kids got better while I remained very sick. They cleaned the house, took turns making each other lunch, and reminded one another to let mom rest. In that week, they didn’t argue, ask me to take them anywhere, or complain of boredom. They did what I thought that hadn’t heard me trying to teach them all these years: they took care of each other.
I am happy to be back to normal now and able to care for my kids. They are back to complaining about chores, bickering, expecting me to drive them to a million different places, and complaining about being bored in between. But their ability to come together and be the kind, compassionate people I hoped they would be is fresh in my mind.
Our kids feel safe with us and they know that we have things under control. Sometimes we might worry that they are entitled or lack empathy or wonder how they will ever manage a job when it’s a fight to get them to put away their shoes. In these moments, it is important to slow down, enjoy the humans that they are right now, and know that they really are the amazing people we have raised them to be.
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