Parenting is a weighty endeavor. In order to lead our children well, and prepare them for the road of life ahead, we parents must first go out in front. It is our duty to explore the terrain and become familiar with the place we are leading them because, as you and I both know, we cannot expect to lead our kids to a place we, ourselves, have never been.
Do you want your children to be healthy? Very well then, the first step is to become healthy. Do you want them to be generous? Then weave generosity into your life. Do you want them to be lovable? Then begin the hard task of becoming, yourself, lovable.
That's the Trouble, Isn't It
Brenda and I carry the hope that Sydney, Savannah, and Elliot learn all they need to navigate life while they are in our care. But in a very real way, we represent their natural limits. It's not likely that we will raise kids who are more mature than us. Or more humble than us. Or more tolerant than us.
The Importance of Whimsy
Everything I've said so far is sort of a given, right? We want our kids to be responsible adults and whatnot. It's all so serious. In fact, it may be too serious. Excessive seriousness is just a much a threat to our kid's future mental wellbeing as not enough, which is why, as a family, we embrace the importance of whimsy.
Thankfully for us, our daughter Savannah was manufactured with ample parts whimsy. We call her #theSmilingOne because she radiates fun and she knows it is her job to keep the family properly balanced in this way.
How much more important, then, is it for me to go before her? To travel the road of silliness and to be a model for her? To show her how to leverage what comes naturally to her for the benefit of others?
Critically. It is critically important.
She has a gift, there is no doubt. Sure, some days it can be exasperating when her play interferes with my plans, but her heart always shines through. I hope that her mother and I are up to the task of helping her balance the responsibility of being fun with being a well adjusted adult. Of channeling it appropriately. Of blessing others with it.
I want her to know that it's ok to be whimsical. Or to put it another way, it is a good thing to take your silliness seriously.