Since I Have Children: My One Promise
Recently, a Christian pastor wrote a post stating his four promises if he has gay kids. I was pleased that such a conservative man would stand up for, accept, and love his children no matter their sexual orientation.
Then, I shared the article with my 14 year-old daughter. She had a totally different response than I did. She found it sad. Sad, that anyone would expect any different of a parent than to love their children for who they are.
I began wonder if this man would have the same response if one of his children decided to become a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or an Atheist. True, most people would say religion is a choice and sexual orientation is inborn, but I believe all my children were born with a personality and a spark that is uniquely theirs and if I ask them to cover, dim, or change that light I’m doing them a big disservice.
So here’s my one promise to my kids:
I will love you unconditionally and adore you no matter what!
I love you for who you are. I love you for the spirit you embody. I love you for your excitement for life and the steps you take to make your dreams come true. I love you for your missteps, mistakes, and your willingness to let go of a worn-out dream and reach for the next one that calls you.
I desire that you are happy, kind, and full of life, but I will love you when you are sad, hurtful, and have lost your enthusiasm.
I don’t pretend to know what will bring you joy, but I will continually support you in your pursuit of living an authentic life.
I don’t care what your religion is or even if you chose to practice one.
I don’t care who you marry or if you marry at all.
I don’t what career you chose or what college you go to.
I don’t care if you have 10 children or none at all.
I don’t care how you do or don’t express your sexuality.
That’s not to say that I don’t care about you.
I do care. I care about you more than I know how to express in words.
I care that you are happy and that you follow your heart.
I care that you live a life that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning.
I care that you share your unique energy and gifts with the world.
I care that you sleep peacefully every night knowing that you are on the perfect path for you.
I don’t need you to be a mini-me. I don’t want you to be a mini-me. I don’t have all of your answers. All I can do is role model for you how I find my own joy. I happen to think my life is pretty terrific and you are a big part of that, but that doesn’t mean that I’m egotistical enough to think that my path is the only way. I love that we are forever linked by family ties but if someday you chose I path that I’m not on, it doesn’t mean I won’t be on the sidelines cheering you on.
I’m not willing to leave my place of joy to try to force you into living a life that doesn’t “fit” you. Not only that, but I don’t believe I could be happy if I molded you into something you weren’t meant to be.
It’s a blessing to be your parent. I hope that I’ll impart you with the tools to forge your own path through life and savor all the wonderful blessings that you desire. I’m aware that my idea of an awesome life and your idea of an awesome life might be two very different scenarios. Honestly, my idea of my ideal life has changed over the years and it’s likely that yours will too.
May you never hold back from living the life of your dreams because you fear what I, or anyone, else thinks.
May you live life on your own terms.
May you let your unique light shine for the world.
May you always know your mama has your back.
May your life be magical.
Your Mother, who loves you completely, if imperfectly, and delights in the fact that I’ve already learned far more from you than I could ever hope to teach you.
P.S. You might want to print this out and save it for the days when I inevitably mess up and steer you in “my” direction. I’m still work in progress, too.