When I was pregnant with my daughter someone asked the question ” what character trait do you hope she inherits from you?” I was stumped. I had no answer for this. My mind could only think of everything I didn’t want her to inherit. After I adopted my husband’s children last year, this question really started weighing on me. What did I want all three of my children to take from me? What lessons will I teach them that they will carry throughout their lives? When I’m long gone and they think of me what will be the first thing to come to mind?
I began working when I was 15 years old and I’ve never stopped. I started working at the local library, later on at a pharmacy, and then an eye doctor. I had done all of this by the time I was 18. I even was a store rep for Hallmark while still in high school. This strong work ethic has led to some incredible opportunities over the years. By the time I was in my mid twenties I had won an American Business Award-probably one of my proudest moments. I want them to understand that it’s ok to have ‘play time’ but it’s SO important to be focused on the big picture. Work hard for what you want. Don’t settle. And don’t forget that no matter how hard you work-it can all be gone in a second. I will always push them to WORK HARD.
Once upon a time someone told me I loved too deep. I hated hearing that. All I knew was to give my 110% and that included loving someone. What does that truly mean? “You love too deep and too much.” I think this really means I was too open and wore my heart upon my sleeve. Hearing those words actually shut me down. If this person thinks this isn’t ok then I’ll build a wall up around me then my love won’t reach near as many and I’ll less likely be hurt along the way.That’s wrong! It’s OK to love BIG. It’s ok to be sensitive. It’s ok to carry your heart out in the open vs locking it away never to be reached. I will always encourage them to Be Kind to those around them and LOVE BIG.
We have experiences through our life that bring us absolute joy or break us into a thousand pieces. The key is to GROW from these experiences and then USE these experiences to help others. Put back into this world what you take out. It does not matter who you are or where you live there’s always something you can offer someone else. I faced more in my first 25 years of life than many face in their entire lifetime. I now spend as much time as I can using what I learned and do my best to help others through their journey. Whether they are helping a friend or lobbying on Capitol Hill, I will always encourage them to GIVE BACK.
With all the issues going on in the world today I hope my children will always stand up for what’s right and be a voice for those who can’t speak up. Whether they are standing up for women’s issues for those in 3rd world countries or they are holding a sign at a rally in support of a cause they feel strongly about-I hope they always wrap their arms around their community and beyond. I hope they always take a stand even when they may be afraid their beliefs aren’t widely accepted. I will always encourage them to STAND UP.
I do not know the path my children will take. While I have ideas of what they may become we all know life can take you on twists and turns. Many times you can end up a thousand miles from where you started. There are far more lessons I hope to teach them along the way. But for now.. wherever their path may lead them I hope they always remember to
Work Hard, Love Big, Give Back, and Stand Up
I am curious. What would you say if you were asked the same question.
What do you hope your child inherits or learns from you?