How My Wife Prepares Our Kids For Life’s Difficulties

How My Wife Prepares Our Kids For Life’s Difficulties

One goal of parenting is to prepare your child for life’s road.

(Not, as so many thoughtlessly do, to try prepare the road for your child.)

I don’t know if you agree, but the more your decades tick on, the more we tend to find ourselves agreeing with Scott Peck’s opening lines in his bestselling book, ‘The Road Less Travelled’…

“It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

Perhaps he overstates his point. Life remains difficult even if you expect it to be so, but certainly you are more ready for that difficulty, and more ready to mine out the opportunity in that difficulty.

But what good can come out of difficulty?

Julie, my wife, recently had a sleepless night, tossing and turning as she tried to process some painful experiences over the last few years.

She decided to get up, and write her thoughts in her growing journal to be given to our kids. When the time is right, she wants to read it to each of them.

I have her permission to share her tear-stained words with you. Perhaps you can take strength from it yourself, and also pass it on to your kids.

Here goes…

“Dear doted on and beloved.

Dear longings and dreams made powder soft flesh.

Dear sweet children, born of my stretched heart, body and white knuckled prayers.

Your lives lie before you like a long banquet table.

I hope you feast on its bounty and know that’s there’s plenty to go around.

I pray that you leave a seat for Joy, Peace, Grace, Truth and Love. And that they all show up and stay.

I pray that Prosperity and Fun, Fulfillment and Adventure pay many visits.
 But oh dear ones, sweet children with thin skins still on the soles of your feet and on your souls too….

There are 2 other guests who arrive.

And they always arrive — unnannounced and uninvited.

Their names are Hardship and Heartache.

I pray that they knock gently and don’t stay long,

But when they come to dine with you, be a gracious host.

Serve them just as well as you do the other guests.

While they’re with you, you’ll be tempted to order a side of blame and vindication, but don’t.

There are so many choices at this buffet, but these guests’ presence at your table will leave you bitter or better.

Never both. You can pick only one.

Choose the latter.

Choose to look them in the eye.

Lean in to see the gold they carry with them. It’s yours to keep if you find it.

Don’t flinch from their touch.

They mean to not break you, but to make you…

More humble, compassionate, human.

If others brought these guests to you, raise a toast to them for bringing the VIP’s to your door — life’s greatest teachers — then let them go.
 And kiss these two as they leave too.

For when they leave, and they always always do,
 you will find that the old you leaves with them.

No longer so thin skinned, you will be beautifully battleworn.

With a heart that is no longer whole or broken,
 but cracked open.

Like a seed.”


Originally published at The Dad Dude.

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