I’m a great one for going big or going home. I don’t do things half way.
I remember when I told my sister we were going to try for baby number four when we were forty and baby number three was already eight years old. She started singing, “You got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them..”
I’m not so great at folding. I’m all in.
The trouble is that people change. Children change even more rapidly. I like being goal-oriented because I can get things done, but life with children is a process, or rather a series of processes and short term goals.
When I wrote The Universe Provides, friends asked,”But how do you know when it is a kid’s big idea? Which goals are really worth going all out for?”
I don’t think the goal matters so long as you are working with your child to model how you look at the problem critically and take step after step to get what you want.
What if you change your mind?
What if they change?
No learning is ever wasted. Every success builds on the next, no matter if those successes are in sports
or art or academics or scouts
Now is my time for reflection. Babies one and two are launched. Baby number three has one foot out the door.
I’m so thankful that I didn’t fold and stop there. I’m thankful for the music lessons that didn’t result in music degrees.
I’m thankful for the weekly sewing lessons that probably won’t result in a fashion marketing degree.
I’m thankful for the hours at sports practice which clearly will not yield a full athletic scholarship.
Every challenge accepted, every goal they set and meet builds upon the next, and what they learn carries over to every area of their lives and pays huge dividends.
What can your child accomplish today? Can he bake his first cake, read her first novel by herself, raise his SAT scores, win her first race, sew his first outfit?
It may seem small, but in the end, once the kids are grown and gone, it is everything.
Today, I’m all in.
How about you?