HOW WELL DO YOU WATER SKI?
I do not think that raising kids from infant until we are no longer here on this earth is easy for anyone.
For years I have pictured this process including a boat and skier; it is kind of unique perspective I admit.
How can water skiing serve as an analogy for raising children? May I suggest to you:
First as an infant and then a small child, they will ride in the boat with you, as you excitedly point out interesting features and teach at their level.
Then as a bit of time goes by, they ride on a tube, or large floatation device, to be pulled at a slow speed behind the boat, with you coaching, still teaching and smiling and waving from the back of the boat.
Next the teen advances to waterskiing behind the boat, with you driving. As you watch for dangers, and guarding as best you can, to help your son or daughter, be successful while they learn to navigate the waves and obstacles that could cause them harm. You are still teaching, giving an encouraging ‘thumbs up’ and letting them know you are happy to be with them.
Before you know it, the child is grown, and now he, or she, is driving the boat and you are the water skier. You do your best to shout out instructions, giving a broad smile, hoping they will avoid the sand bars and focusing on jumping the wakes so you can remain with them. Sometimes our children, or even loved ones, take us in directions we had no intention of going; maybe for the better, possibly for the worst.
The ultimate goal is to stay with the boat, allowing the driver their agency to make choices, while always loving, forgiving, never giving up and allowing consequences as a necessary tool for learning.
As parents, it is our obligation to teach morals, ethics, values and correct principles, and to love them without reservation or condition. To constantly let our children, of all ages, know how intricately their lives are woven into the fabric of the family, never to be cast aside.
However, it is equally important that we, as parents, permit penalties or punishments to happen, when brought on by their own actions and choices. That is how they learn. That is how they grow.
So, to all parents out there who are the skier holding on for dear life, wondering if the boat will crash or where it will finally stop, do not be depressed or lose hope. Hold onto the rope! Just do your very best, pray continually and leave it to God. He loves them, and knows them even more than any parent possibly could.
Unfortunately, IF life takes a turn into turbulent waters, just keep going forward in doing good for others. Do not let it consume your life, and above all, know and understand your value as a human being, because we are the greatest crowning achievement of God. As you realize and grasp your own profound value, and do not let anothers choices and actions determine your destination and attitude, your children and family will be changed, eventually, because they will see your example and follow. You will be their guide, their model, in occasions of violent storms as well as during trying stagnant seas. Your loved ones will duplicate your courage to continue in dark times, your determination to be appreciative of any good and favor in life, and your faith in a new day.
Do not forget, we are all here on this earth to learn to overcome instant gratification for the benefit of all, particularly for our family.
To practice living a more honorable life, every single day, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing, but always practicing to be better.
To become all we can as a human being as we serve, teach, nurture and alleviate suffering. Our goal is to bring real joy and true happiness into our own lives and that of others.
YOU are an incredible example – realize YOUR importance!
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013