Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bucket List of Intentions as a Parent

I woke up with the crystal clear thought on my mind- “Make scrambled eggs with the kids.” Not turn the kids into scrambled eggs mind you, but get the whisk out and show the kids how to mash up an awesome batch of fluffy scramble. So we did, and it was delicious (both the eggs and the time).

It felt like the most important thing I did that day, like the sort of bucket list moment that you just store in your own mind.

Do you have times like that? It can go either way. It can direct where you put your attention, as in making scrambled eggs, or it can be a decision to not spend any more energy on something that doesn’t feel worthwhile.

Sometimes I wonder if the whole notion of an afterlife was just a cunning plan from ancient spiritual leaders to get us to make the most of this life. An afterlife is so mysterious and unknown. What is right in front of our noses is not.

So when Jesus said “don’t store up treasures in barns for some future time” I hear it as call to urgency. Buddha was attributed with saying something very similar. Maybe it’s a universal truth. There’s no point scrambling eggs and putting them in Tupperware for later. Life doesn’t reheat well. It needs to be savored now while it’s fresh. There’s no point just thinking about spending time with your kids. Actually do it, and don’t delay.

All of this urgent energy bubbled up into a fresh baked affirmation, a Seed of Urgency, particularly for parents but it relates to all of us.

Seed of Urgency
What are you waiting for? Your time with children at home is fleeting. If you store up treasures, you could miss your chance to enjoy them. Apply the same principle to much larger things than money; like forgiveness or praise. If you store up kindness or encouragement for some future time, you just might miss your chance to express them. Don’t delay. Express something you have been meaning to say to your children. Do it today.

Say to yourself: I take every opportunity to express my love for my kids.

So here’s my bucket list of intentions as a parent-
1. See my kids smile every day.
2. Tell my kids I love them every day.
3. Tell my kids they’re amazing at specific things every day.
4. Begin every correction, with encouragement.
5. Forgive myself for moments of impatience.
6. Forgive my kids for any and every time they mess up.
7. Learn from my kids how to play in the moment.
8. Put time with my kids before chores.
9. Help my kids give voice to their dreams
10. Savor every fleeting moment

Now, excuse me. The kids have some scramble ready for me. They don’t even need my help any more.


muthahhood said...

Most excellent. I especially feel that #5 is so important. We can really beat ourselves us when we fall short of our own expectations for ourselves as parents.

From personal experience, i would add 2 more.

1. Be interested in what interests them. That way you remain as relevant as they grow up.

2. Remain flexible in your parenting. As our children grow, mature, become their own selves, their needs from us can change. We must be in tune to those changing needs and adjust accordingly.

Ian Lawton said...

Love your blog name and thanks for the comment. Great points. im taking note of them- thankyou :)

Pat said...

I have #8 mastered. That's why my house is always messy. But that walk in the dunes with Ben Monday night was the priority!

Ian said...

Better a messy house than messy relationships. Sounds like a fortune cookie message. So true Pat