What amazes me is, even if a parent doesn’t have the financial resources to do what they would like, they still can make their child feel like a million bucks. ?I applaud the parents out there who, when you add it up, are doing a fantastic job.
There really is something to the idea of the circle of life.
I believe it’s a circle that revolves around giving and taking. From age 0 to 16, we do a lot of taking. We can’t help it. We are dependent on our parents for just about everything. About the only thing kids can give back during this time is hugs, an occasional homemade gift and, hopefully, lots of love.
?Most of us have grown up in a culture that promotes independence. At 16, a driver’s license provides a lot of freedom. At 18, college promises a chance to really test your wings and take flight. In your 20s, you get your first real job, and your arms start to tire a little bit. By the time you’re 30, you might be married and have a family. All of sudden, you need mom and dad again for baby-sitting and other fun grandparent activities, and the circle starts turning again.
?I communicated this idea recently with my wife, along with all four of our children, when we were out to lunch. Sometime between the entree and dessert, I decided to share a few thoughts with our kids, which I’m sure they weren’t counting on.
I told them I didn’t think they thought about it very often in terms of numbers, as to how much their mom has done for them over the course of their lives. I said I estimated that, between all of us, their mom had washed 61,320 baskets of clothes. I guessed she probably helped pick up their rooms 4,420 times. Ours is a family that prays, so I told them I bet their mom has prayed for them 122,640 times.
?Of course, those numbers are estimates, but my point was well taken. The kids had kind of a wide-eyed, never-thought-of-that look on their faces. We don’t always think about all the stuff someone else does for us. We just keep revolving in the circle, giving and taking as needed.
?When you take the time to add it up, the totals are pretty amazing. I told the children the numbers signify one major thing — their mom has been faithful to help take care of them. Dads play a significant part in this, too, but for this time, I just focused on mom.
?I celebrate that on behalf of my children’s lives but also to all of you who are faithful parents. The ones who resist buying clothes for themselves in order to buy their children that special pair of gym shoes or stay up much later than they should in order to help homework assignments get completed. The ones who would starve themselves in order for their offspring to be able to eat.
?Naturally, there always will be parents who don’t show that level of care. For their children, I hope and pray someone else — a neighbor, teacher or family friend — will step in and show them that kindness.
What amazes me is, even if a parent doesn’t have the financial resources to do what they would like, they still can make their child feel like a million bucks.
?I applaud the parents out there who, when you add it up, are doing a fantastic job. Also, take some time out this week and thank the people in your life who are doing or have done a number of things for you. It keeps the circle turning.
Dan Seaborn is a non-denominational Christian evangelist and a published author of such books as "The Necessary Nine: How to Stay Happily Married for Life!" He is the founder of Winning at Home Inc., a ministry that focuses its attention on the relationships between a husband and wife and between parents and their children.