Daniel watched me as I prepared our dessert for dinner last week... homemade chocolate pudding, sliced bananas in the bottom, freshly whipped cream on the top. He made a statement about our kids being the envy of the neighborhood. Dessert for dinner... what a crazy thing to do!
His innocently insightful words made me think about our kids; were we starting to spoil them a bit? Yikes!
I took a few days to explore those thoughts, to watch myself and how I treated the kids, to think about the direction in which Daniel and I are headed as parents.
I came to a startling, yet revealing conclusion.
I realized I do want to spoil my children. I, deep down in my heart, want nothing more than to spoil my children rotten.
But to spoil them with memories.
Memories of gifts - thoughtful, loving gifts. And special trips we took as a family. Times when we threw caution to the wind and did exactly what we wished we could do. Of dessert for dinner nights, and crazy, fun times eating together. Memories of traditions, and special things that we always do, or always say. Memories of being loved, and of mom and dad having the freedom of expression to show them that in non-traditional ways. To not think rules, rules, rules.
When my kids are adults and they are asked for their favorite childhood memory, or favorite trip, or birthday - I want them to not be able to decide which one was the best. The very, very best. I want them to think back on childhood as a magical time; a part of their life when the love they felt from Daniel and I was overwhelming, and the good times we created - or allowed to happen because of our openness for spontaneity - culminate for them in a feeling of joy and contentment of a life well lived.
I want Eve and Judah and Eliza to think back on their years of life spent in our home as the best years of their lives. I want them to look forward to, to anticipate with great expectation, creating a wonderful life for their own children.
Daniel and I run a pretty tight ship around here; we hold our children to a high standard. Our kids don't get away with any crap, and they know we are unequivocally in charge, but in saying all that I must point out that our home is a place of love. Love, fun, laughter, and great memories help to make up the foundation.
Dessert for dinner being just one brick in that foundation.