When people die, others reflect on what their life was and meant. I suppose it is a natural thing. Or maybe it is not. Perhaps it is more likely that because during a wake or memorial service people are eulogized and maybe people try to think about what will be said? The brain works in odd ways, or at least mine does. So, I can see a brain going down that path. To make a long story even longer, my father in law sent an email out to his immediate family (including me, of course) about an obituary. You can read the obituary by clicking here. Since then I have been thinking about this woman and the impact she made on her children. I then (naturally?) thought about my relationship with my children. As parents, my husband and I tend to be very strict with our children. Sure we are loving, but we have rules and expectations that may be a little more rigid than other families. In fact, yes, I can say with certainty that is the case. While other children are running around restaurants, ours sit perfectly well and are well behaved in a social setting. While other children will tug on the leg of their parent and loudly interrupt them while they are in a conversation, ours (for the most part) will quietly say “excuse me” and wait for a response. Are our children perfect? Of course not, though they are perfect for us! My point is, reading the obituary really made me think about my role in the lives of the people I love and also in society as a whole. I enjoy making others feel happy and perhaps filling needs of theirs. I love to volunteer and donate my time to those causes and I try to teach my children the same. For example, I am the PTA president for the second year in a row for my J's school, I was room mom last year for D's class, I always volunteer to make food for new parents in the neighborhood or people who are very ill, 3 years ago I made goodie baskets for the fire dept., police dept. and all 14 departments (including the janitors) of the hospital that were open for Christmas. I spent a full week with my kitchen looking like a mini version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. I baked cookies, candies, made Hershey kiss roses and the whole family piled into the mini van and delivered them on Christmas day. J was too little to understand but D helped! I don’t think he would remember. We should do it again this year… All this and I still worry what my children will think when I go… I hope I never lose that fear and I hope it encourages me to hug my kids a little more, snuggle with them more at night and be more patient with them when my day had been long.
Have you hugged your kid today?