Hi, my name is Ryan Smith and I am 39 years old, married with three children. I no longer care if I get the occasional zit, uhum, I mean in-grown hair on my face and I no longer care if I’m hip or cool.
Did I just say that? That probably wasn’t hip or cool. Ok, I’m back. I don’t know what the most popular song in the land is and that doesn’t bother me at all.
Excitement isn’t something I feel it’s something I live vicariously through my children. A trip to the mall where my two year old darts for the iPads in the Apple store and we spend way too much time in the pet store staring at dogs, bunnies and kittens we will never own. A trip to the play area, stop at See’s Candy and we’re outta there. Wow! That was fun…
No really, I enjoy that now. Just being with my kids and seeing their simple pleasures brings immense joy to my heart and yes I’d even say excitement. Excitement for what they will learn, do and become as they grow.
My son Jacob wants to play in the NFL or MLB or else become a sports analyst for the NFL Network, ESPN or Fox Sports. He’s so talented I think he’s aiming low. I think he’ll be the next Bob Costas or Chris Berman.
My daughter Austyn wants to be a veterinarian and what’s so cute is that she can’t even spell it but she wants to be it. I love that about her. I mischievously told her that veterinarians don’t make much money and she simply stared at me for a few seconds and said in her high pitch eight year old little girl voice, “I don’t care.” Yes! She’s in it for the right reasons. I then told her that veterinarians actually can make lots of money to which she shrugged her shoulders again indicating she didn’t care. What a girl!
My son Wyatt is nearing three years old and he’s beginning to tell us what he likes and doesn’t like. I can tell you this so far; he likes In-n-Out Burger and he doesn’t like naps. Yeah that about covers it for a two year old.
Why You’re Here
Up to this point you thought I brought you here to brag about my kids but you are mistaken. That is not my intention at all. My real intention is to make you think about what really matters in life – what you will leave behind.
But first, let me tell what I want to leave behind.
I want to leave behind three mentally, physically and spiritually healthy and mature adults who change the world for the better. And that starts with me, my wife, our faith and pouring as much love into each of our children as possible.
You might remember the Parenthood episode last season where the patriarch of the family Zeke Braverman visits his mother. There’s a scene where Zeke asks his mother why she never told him that she loved him. Her reply is that he knew she loved him.
Zeke continues saying that because she never told him she loved him he made it a point to tell his children that he loved them everyday of their lives. From his response it seems he may not have known she loved him or at least he questioned her love.
Tell Your Children You Love Them
Yes, as parents we think our children should know that we love them because of all the good we do for them but that’s not always true. Without verbal reassurance even adults will doubt the things in life that are the most sure. Therefore, It’s only logical that our children will as well.
Show Your Children You Love Them
The basics of parenting should be a given. Working to provide a safe place to live with security and full bellies is just the start. Children need us to show them we love them by knowing what will show them we love them. Maybe an impromptu trip to their favorite restaurant or dessert shop. Coaching their little league, softball or soccer team and volunteering at their school. Little things like these show our children we love them.
Love Your Children Enough To Correct
The worst thing we can do for our children is to not quickly and appropriately correct incorrect and disrespectful behavior. Parents who want to develop mentally, physically and spiritual healthy and mature adults must be willing to consistently teach their children right from wrong. To not teach them right from wrong is to vacate our post as a parent.
One Life To Live
You and I have one life to live and the most important part of our lives that we leave behind are our children. So please for your sake but mostly theirs commit today, right now, this minute to leave behind a rockin’ legacy through the well being of your children . Even when you’re tired (I’m now writing to myself), weak, sick, angry, stressed and whatever other emotion we as adults feel.
Just because we’re not feeling our best doesn’t mean that our children don’t deserve our best all the time.
Saint Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 3:2…
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men.
Your children and mine will be read by all with whom they come in contact. What they read will speak more about us than them. What they read is mostly determined (This is not always the case) by our actions during our children’s most impressionable years. So only one question remains…What will they read?