Thursday, November 17, 2011

Letter to My Future Self, #1

Dear Emily,

Hopefully you will remember to read this when you are a mother of adult children. There are some things you need to remember when you are, and especially if the kids have kids.

Your job, and your approach to your job as mom (and homeschooler) has been to raise up independent, creative individuals with their own opinions and ideas. Your hope for your kids is that they would see, experience, and impact the world wherever they want to and in what ways they discern are best.

Your kids have watched you pursue what you love and feel passionately about and they have every right to expect that to continue in you even as you grow old.

You have told your kids that you will have your own adventures when they are adults. You have promised to yourself and to Marc and to them that your life will be spent living passionately serving God, not desperately seeking grandchildren. You expect yourself to have relationships that fill you and challenge that have no DNA connection to you.

When you were younger (and impossible wise) you didn't really believe in a retirement age. You don't see an age when you will stop to loiter and rest. Slow down, for sure. Need extra help, probably. But stopping your growing and contribution to those around you are inconceivable to you. As long as you can see, you will be able to read out loud to someone. And if you lose your sight you will make up stories, tell stories from memory. And you will always be able to sing and offer an encouraging smile to someone passing by.

Your job is as a parent to adult children is to cheer for them, pray for them, support them. You will disagree with their choices and approaches sometimes. Honor them enough to put aside your experience and opinions and to learn something from them. Honor them enough to remember the many promises you made when you were younger.

PS. Emily, you should make sure the kids have a link to this and future letters to yourself.

PPS. You need to consider and write about honor and humility, too... these admittedly weren't strong considerations when you wrote this.

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