#Cultivate2012 Children

Children: Perhaps you’re a parent. Perhaps you’re an aunt or uncle. Perhaps you just associate with people who have kids of their own. Regardless of how you’re related, the way we interact with the children in our lives makes a significant impact on their lives. Are you setting a good example? How can you nurture the next generation?

[When I wrote this prompt back in October, I never would have imagined that events that took place yesterday would align so painfully with this prompt. However, I’ve chosen to keep this prompt for today. Now more than ever we need to evaluate our relationships with children, whether they are our own babies or someone else’s babies. We were all children once, and we shouldn’t ever forget that. No one should ever do what that man did yesterday, and yet he selfishly stole the lives of young innocents. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.]

As a mother of three, I’m entrusted to raise three respectable members of society. I try to instill good manners in them — saying please, thank you, excuse me, etc. I’d like to think that I’m setting a good example for them by treating others with respect. There are some days when I feel like a horrible example, but I know we all have our moments. Sometimes others eat at our nerves until we can’t maintain a smile and a pleasant attitude anymore. (I’m sure we all know those moments when that guy cuts us off when we’re already doing the speed limit on a bad day, and we may let a choice word slip… 😉 )

I also wish I was more mentally present for my children. On my days off, I feel more like I’m just being lazy and too solitary. Of course, my line of work has the tendency to use up my sociability. Still, I need to take steps to nurture my little ones more. I need to be more present. I need to sit down and play games with them. It isn’t enough to simply be physically present and provide for their basic needs. I need to engage them more than the usual, “oh, okay,” “uh-huh,” and the like. We need more interaction, especially on my part. I’ve been feeling very inadequate as a mother because I don’t feel like the quality of time I spend with them measures up. I want to see them smile, hear them giggle, watch them play happily, and share moments and memories. Those moments don’t feel like enough — but maybe I’m just being greedy. [Considering I wrote this response before receiving the news yesterday, I now feel even greedier because I’m sure those parents are wishing they could at least just have the crappy moments back — to simply be physically present in the same room. Again, I couldn’t have imagined that a monster would walk straight into a classroom and open fire…] Still, I want to live my life knowing I expressed my love and care for them, knowing I nurtured them to the best of my ability. I won’t get much more time with them in the grand scheme of things.

[I went forward with today’s prompt in spite of yesterday’s events. Instead of looking away from that tragedy and feeling ashamed to have this prompt aligned this way with the news, I’m choosing to embrace this prompt even more today — to embrace the future generation even more, and to comfort them a little more.]

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