Steve and I have started reading our first parenting book. And something I read tonight stuck out to me:
What is it that I really want from my child? When my baby has grown into an adult, what characteristics do I want him to have?
Here is what I wish for the adult Brandon:
Respect: I hope that he treats people with respect. And I don't just mean the polite stuff like opening and holding doors. I mean when people talk to him, he listens. He seeks to understand other people from their point of view, rather than his own. He treats people as they can and should be, rather than as they are.
Independence: I hope that he is resourceful and self-reliant and adventurous enough to take care of himself and his family. That although he has people he can rely on, he will not rely on them in lieu or learning and doing it himself. That he gains a quiet confidence in his own capability because of what he was able to build himself.
Self-assurance: I hope that he is instilled with an intrinsic sense of self-worth so he does not need outside forces to tell him his value. He will not rely on others to define himself. He will not require accolades for motivation, he will not require compliments to feel attractive, he will not need a challenge to prove what he can do. He is good enough, smart enough, capable enough despite the unpredictable bars of those around him.
Unconditional love: I hope that he loves without condition. That when someone he loves disagrees with him or changes a bit or is being hard to love, that that doesn't change his love for them. I hope that his love for others is more than a passing feeling - that it is a deep, committed friendship. That he doesn't hold grudges or avoid someone he loves who has wronged him. Instead, he has faith in who they will become and loves them anyway.
Passion: I hope that he finds activities, people, projects, jobs that motivate him, excite him, and energize him. I hope that he maintains the curiosity and creativity he had in his adolescence and is continually recharged by it.
Humility: Despite what a spectacular individual he becomes, I hope that he does not act like he is better than anyone else. I hope that maintains a level-head and an approachable personality and a positive outlook. I hope he leads by example, rather than by authority. I hope his actions speak louder than other people's words.