As I sit here, soaking up the last days of summer’s sunshine, and work out our plan for the week I’m hit with the reality that summer is coming to a close. As Thursday marks the kids’ first day back to school. It’s bittersweet - all the feels are happening around here. I’ve been feeling a lot of mom guilt this summer, not getting to do all the things I wish I could have squeezed in. I know it’s all good and it’s not ‘the things’ that matter but the moments we have together and really focusing in on what matters the most. As I was on the hunt for some new signs to paint this fall I was taken aback by this poem I came across by Ralph Waldo Emerson, written in the mid 1800’s. I was quickly reminded that whether we’re living in the 1800’s or the 2000’s the hopes and dreams for our children and those we love hasn’t changed… and those hopes and dreams have nothing to do with ‘all the things’ I didn’t get to do with my kiddos this summer.
“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I guess all this goes to say my job as a parent is to make sure my kiddos know how to let ‘Love complete their life.’ To make sure they have all the tools they need to live their best life. That they know God is right by their side every. single. step of the way and that they sit in His comfort if they’re having a difficult day. That they understand God has a plan for their life, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That they stand on His truth and have courage to stand up for what they believe in and to follow their heart.
My job is to make sure the love of Jesus penetrates their hearts so they can wear a smile when sadness creeps in and they have a ‘peace that passes all understanding’ The kind of peace that only comes with a deep rooted faith. That they have a faith, which may not always be easy to explain but they feel confident in firmly standing on God’s word. That they have the courage and strength to know that even if they have ‘faith as small as a mustard seed, they can move the mountains’ they will be faced with as they go through life.
It’s my job to teach them to have a heart of gratitude. Because we have so much to be thankful for and to help them find beauty in the small things like sunsets, walks in the woods and a hug from a friend. We don’t need all the things to be happy but the people we have in our lives can bring us laughter and brighten our life. And that friendships are worth more than gold.
The most important thing I can do for my kiddos is to teach them how to love. Love, a simple action that is not so simple but if done well can change the world and help them to successfully live their life. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
So, I may not have given them all the summer memories I wish I could have, I hope I filled their little hearts with these truths and put faith, gratitude and love into action for them to see. Here’s to letting go of the mom guilt and embracing this new season that is upon us!