“Be kind to everyone.”
“Use your manners.”
So often we spend our days as parents trying to mold these little individuals into adults. We hope and pray that they are successful at something they love, that they are happy, that they are good people with good hearts. We have visions of the kind of spouse, parent, employee, and neighbor they’ll be one day. We worry about whether they’ll be someone others can rely on and someone that others will speak highly of. Will they be confident? Will they be loving? Will they be honest?
In the midst of all of the preparations for growing up, sometimes we forget to stop and celebrate who they are today. Sure, today they may not be able to use a quiet voice inside, they may choose eating spaghetti with their fingers over a fork every time, maybe they aren’t into school as much as you’d imagined, and they may have yet to clean up their toys despite the many times you’ve asked. Regardless of the lessons to come, there is so much goodness to celebrate in each of our children today. Who they are today is exactly who they were meant to be at this very moment. Their interests, their quirks, their temperament … it is all worth celebrating today.
This outlook may certainly cause us to pause and find beauty in chaos, mess and a lot of mistakes, but it will also force us to savor who they are today at this age and in this season of their life. Their current strengths are very likely the same strengths that they will have many years from now. Those same quirks may help them to be successful at their job or maybe their temperament will be what draws others to them. We can’t know who they’ll be in 20 years, but we can love them for who they are today.
This doesn’t mean we stop teaching, but it does mean that we can confidently walk forward knowing that we are celebrating our children in every season regardless of the challenges that reveal themselves.