Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Raising Children”

Thankful for Our Children

My wife has said before that as a parent you may not always like your kids, but you will always love them. There may be some sense in that for many of us. As our kids get older and become adults they have had plenty of time to formulate their own idea of the order of their lives. Sometimes they make poor choices ( and you wonder if anything soaked in during those younger years), sometimes they take things for granted or create problems that are not really there.

One thing I have learned as my kids got older ( they are all over 21 now) is that they are forever entwined in their childhood personas. When they were born, from the day they could actually respond to things around them, my wife and I could tell that each of our four children were unique in their own way. They had their own way of looking at the world from virtually the day they were born. And all the life lessons and teaching you could apply would help to shape the edges, but their personality was something they were born with.

So as adults my wife and I can still see it. We had 3 sons in a row, and each one of them had their own perspective on things. While one of them was Intellectually reason out the simplest of problems ( even at 3 years old), another one of them got easily frustrated and would work to plan to manipulate his surroundings , the third was laid back and things would roll off and he would work through things in such a simple way and just smile. My daughter was our last, she was earthy, of the earth she loves animals more than people, enjoys nature and adjusts to things overtime when she finds the balance.

One thing they all had in common was music, my children did not all become consummate musicians ( however one of them has composed a number of great songs playing all the instruments and vocals). But music was meaningful. It is the canvas in which our lives would speak through sound and emotion. It ties us together in so many ways.

So this holiday season, when my adult kids will all be visiting our home we are thankful. We are grateful that we have had the opportunity to experience being a parent and proud of what they have become.

Future Regrets

We all seem to have regrets. It is so easy to look backward and see where there could have been opportunity to do one thing instead of another, to say one thing instead of another (or nothing at all). Regrets can easily build on themselves and make for a potentially miserably life buried under excuses and alternate scenarios.

The Holy Touch

There is no way to change what has already happened; but today has not already happened. So the future is ahead of us for what ever time we have. There are somethings we are not going to have a chance to avoid. They will happen as they do by the synchronicity of life I suppose. They may be very simple things that just pass by and we don’t even recognize their profound impact till much later.

“Some” of the future regrets may be avoided. I know that I have worked a mental list of those things ( perhaps writing them down). It is amazing to go through them one day to the next and see what things stick as important or significant in the future. I could surely make a bucket-list of dozens of things that I need to get done (life’s necessities)  or of things that I wish I want to get to ( desires, dreams, life milestones).

In the end it is the spiritual things that are important.  Everything else may be regrettable, it may be missed because there isnt enough time or money or simply just isn’t possible. It is more likely those things are centered around my own desires or temporary possessions or experiences that make up the time here on Earth.

There are only a very few things I need to assure I don’t miss:  it centers on my family, our children are our life. Like my wife, I  have invested all of my emotions on them because I love them, I have made decisions because of them that I wouldn’t have, had they not been there. So I struggle with the regret whether I have done my part to instill in them the simple unconditional belief in salvation.

For some of you reading this you may have already tuned-out. I am not trying to be preachy. And if you have children, ask your self that question. Ask your children: Just what do they think will happen at the end of their lives? Pray that it is centered in hope and faith.

I want them to be with me in the next life for eternity. Often  I am not sure that they get it.  Like most of the parents around me, we work to provide them access- but fall so short in injecting the atmosphere around them to make sure. Sunday schools, Bibles in hand, great moral compass get sideways because life happens. As parents we have never been the best examples in practice, but as our children are all adults now, we hope that we have provided enough direction in His name to get them to understand that Eternity Matters Most.

I regret that I have missed that in someway. Working hard to make that the only thing on my list worth worrying about.


Good Parent/Bad Parent

Easy to read all of the comments these days about how parents are treating their kids.

Begining and End

The Internet and media are full of news about parents who have done “bad” things to their kids. Some of them life threatening, some of them much more subtle but damaging. As a parent the obvious conclusion is to compare and be sure that you are not one of those parents who damaged their kids futures from some sort of neglect. Who put them through hell during their childhood so that they would never be good kids or worse yet good adults when they grew up?

Always seems like someone has the best idea:  ” Spare the rod spoil the child.” “Teach the kids to be independent.” “Tell them how it really is.” “Make sure they understand that everything has consequences.” Or maybe for some they teach them ” there is always a way to get out of something.”

With so many influences outside a parents control- getting that fundamental core values have to be taught earlier and earlier. There is no shelter from the influences that are available today for kids in every age level.

So what are my wife and I ? Good parents? Bad ones?

I know I have my days where I guess I am pretty good. My kids have their own problems… did I dump them on them or did they collect their situations and predicaments all by them selves?

There are regrets as a parent, but overall you have to make the best of it. Some parents have much more success, while others seem to be constantly frustrated by their children- and cannot see why they had anything to do with it.

So I am guessing that is the fate of parents in general. They didn’t come with an owners manual when they arrived. Other than medical or convictions as reasons that they may not come to be; there are very few rules stopping someone from having one, even if they have very little experience or life lessons to reflect upon.   Yup, no license to be a parent, no manuals, no permissions to be obtained.  We parents have a lot of responsibility, but that is seldom accounted for as much until the day they are born… handed to you and you become a “parent” …. then the debate begins.

I love my kids (all 4 of them) and hope that they don’t blame us too much for the way they turned out. When they are doing good, we think that we did pretty good raising them; they think they did it all themselves. When they are doing poorly, we think it must have been some other reason than us; they think that it’s all their parents fault.

Either way – most of us do the best we can it seems.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: