You know those moments when you think you *might* just be failing as a parent? Well, if you pay close attention to the fine details of life, you will be reminded that you may just be winning in this whole parenting journey.
My soon-to-be third grader son wrote a story for a school project. The story involved two friends who set out to find a castle with lots of precious jewels. They wanted to get rich. They found a castle full of gold, diamonds, silver ,emeralds ,and other fine things. They thought, “The people at this castle must be rich!”
However, soon after entering the castle, they were approached by an angry mob so had to run away without the riches. They ended up trying to find their way home, and found a deserted island instead. On this island, they came across a lonely, lost and stray dog.
They took this dog in, named him “Sparkey” and taught him how to fetch and play. Instead of setting out to find more riches, they decided to keep the dog, love on him, and teach him other tricks.
Now, I know that my son’s story alone does not completely represent how I might be failing or winning at parenting, but gosh, it sure made my heart happy. I told him that I loved his story, that I was so happy that the characters kept the dog, and that they realized that being rich would not mean as much as helping out a stray animal. My son smiled. I could tell that he knew he had written a good story.
What his story means to me is this: Sometimes, when I consider all of the challenges of parenting, when I wonder if I said or did the right thing, and if, perhaps, I am in need of a “do-over”, I receive little reminders that, just maybe, I am getting this whole parenting thing right.
This Momma (who happens to love animals) received the best and warmest feelings today while reading through her soon-to-be third grader’s story.
Friends, if you struggle with the daily challenges of parenting, remember this: Kind gestures and words you speak can resonate loudly in your child’s heart.
Whether it is other people or animals, the opportunity to teach compassion for every living thing, to show mercy even when it is not deserved, and to raise children who are aware that the little things in life really can be the big things, is truly a gift.
Be encouraged. Be intentional. Be yourself. After all, isn’t this what we want our children to be?