Not too long ago, as I was dropping my darlings off at school, I waved good-bye and hollered sweetly after them, "have fun!" as is my habit any time I leave my children to do something without me. But this time I was struck by what a strange statement this was. Why is it that my parting words to my children are always, "have fun?" Is that really the very best and greatest wisdom that I have to give them as they leave the shelter of my arms to face the perilous world out there?
on the other hand, if I didn't tell my children to have fun, would the forget? Would they have an awful time, just because I forgot to tell them to have fun? What a rediculous statement! I put it in the same box as statements like "drive safe!" and "take care!" When people tell me things like that, I know that they're trying to express kind thoughts, but I want to reply, "Wow! I'm so glad you told me to drive safe! I was planning to drive recklessly and crash into a tree, but because you told me to drive safe, I'm certainly going to change those plans."
But back into the world of mommyisms: It would make sense that whatever final words I give to my children on a regular basis would emphasize what I value. Is having fun my greatest value? Is it the one thing that I want my children to think about and remember through the day? I don't think so.
Therefore, regardless of whether it will actually change my children's behaviors or actions, I want my words to be full of meaning and purpose. And so I am on a quest to change this very meaningless little phrase that I frequently say to my children into something more intentional.
So... what are my values? What would I like to instill in my children's subconscious little hearts?
My mom and I have been talking about the importance of teaching children to value and enjoy hard work. I've been trying out, "Work hard!" It doesn't quite feel right.
Probably my number one value is kindness. Should I say "Be kind"?
or perhaps, "love well!"
or maybe "be kind, love well, work hard and have fun! --and while I'm at it, don't forget all those other things I've been trying to teach you!--and I love you!"
this reminds me of the very funny mom song that I think i've posted here before. Maybe I should just play that as my kids are running out the door.
What do you think? What would you say?
3 years ago