Chocolate chip cookies, bed-time stories, holiday memories, treasures in a box, secrets and dreams shared between two hearts, that is was parenting is made of.
Parenting continues long after childhood ends, but the cords that bind two hearts together are tied in those early years. There is nothing in this world, or any other world, that I would trade for those years with my children. There is no glory, no power, no honor, no achievement that can compare with the love that fills my heart at the thought of them. I hope that, someday, my children get to experience that kind of love for their own children. I can’t imagine living my life without ever having known the depths and heights of a parent’s love for their child. I will carry that happiness inside of me wherever I go, no matter what life holds for me. It will never fade, no matter how many years pass. I know that not everyone’s experience of parenthood is the same as mine, but I want you to know that this exists.
All the years of work, worry, and careful, thoughtful cultivation, bring you the ultimate satisfaction when you see your children become healthy caring adults. Producing a child or adopting a child is just the start. Make a conscious effort to build that connection. Raise that child to know that they are truly loved, and that there is someone who will always believe in them. That is parenting.
I hope that if you are not yet a parent or if you are new to parenting, that you will strive for this too. Why? Because it is the greatest gift you can ever give to yourself.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy