Being a mother to three boys and one girl means I not only have the magic that comes with raising a daughter, but I also have the warrior mother heart that only sons can create. Being mom to four is no small job, so here are five things about life I want my children to know.
What every child should know
To care for their bodies
I know it sounds cliche, but caring for our bodies goes beyond the old "diet and exercise" guidelines. I want my children to know how to cook from scratch and to recognize slow, real food when they see it.
I want them to crave an active life and not put junk in their bodies, but also enjoy a fantastic dessert and an amazing homemade pizza.
I want them to know every home remedy grandma taught me, and be able to heal their bodies at home. I want them to understand how their mental health depends on their physical health, and let it be ok to just never give up.
To give peace a chance
I am a big fan of sit-ins over stand-offs. I want my children to feel uncomfortable when they see violence, because it's so opposite of how they live.
I want them to covet peace like crazy, and maybe even be called crazy for it.
I want their wrestling and wild boy-ness (and girly-ness) to channel into passions of the heart instead of fists.
I want them to crave peace because it's who they are, not just because it's who I taught them to be.
Read more on teaching kids kindness >>
To be truth seekers
I want my kids to be people who don't run from truth, even if it might change their entire worldview.
I want their minds to be always open, never stuck in an echo chamber or worried about what people think. I want them to see being a black sheep in this culture as a good thing, and to find faith deep in their hearts.
I want my children to recognize that piece of them that is "other" and to hold on to it their entire lives.
To know how to rest
We've all heard that age-old saying, "Life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey," but I want my children to make this a lifestyle instead of just a trite phrase. If they truly know rest -- real rest -- they will travel and sleep and eat and have so much fun doing it.
I want them to understand that life isn't worth living without the in between, without margins or without leaving angst at the door. I want them to soak up rest daily.
To love unabashedly
The most important thing to me is that they learn how to love. With open hearts, I want them to know what it's like to help that homeless man on the corner, to help their grandmother bring in her groceries and to get married and have a family. I want them to default to love over hate, forgiveness over bitterness and happiness above everything.
I want my children to choose a life full of each of these things, because we know that only by living intentionally can we really achieve our dreams. As their mother, I hope to choose these things myself as well. Here's to living!
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