Jen Hatmaker hits it out of the park, once again. Having just ushered my 18 year old into adulthood 2 days ago, I am relieved that I don’t need to back-fill my antique trunk with annual time capsules. As I like to say at my house: that ain’t happenin’.
Other things that ain’t happenin’: spending time angst-ing about planning the perfect birthday party, regretting all the parties I promised and then never got around to, attending every single sporting event or school concert or feeling guilty if I don’t, and painting or other messy crafts.
Things that are happening: being present for the big stuff (as defined by the kids), lots of family meals (not all home-cooked), involvement in church (including regular service and deep, cross-generational relationships), chores & expectations at home, some screen parameters (that are regularly agonized over and discussed), and conversations — countless, thoughtful, structured & unstructured, where there are two main goals: understanding who my children are and who they are becoming, and inviting them into my world view, my values, my mission and my hopes for their character.
For all of this, I am grateful for the example of my own parents, and proud of the hard (and sometimes tedious) work of parenting that Hal and I have done. And I am always glad to be reminded to send the kids outside to play with the neighbors.