As we approach the 21st of May tomorrow, I am reminded of two things that are vital to me and make my heart sing.
My youngest son was born on this date thirty years ago and now we are about to celebrate our youngest as an incredible strong independent young man who is a father in his right. My journey mothering Daniel has been one of the greatest joys in my life.
He came in a screaming hurry; we only just made it to the hospital in time for his arrival. He suffered from day one with Cholic and it continued for over a year. Being a busy mother of four this created an interesting journey right from the beginning. I was always very glad he hadn’t been the first or I am sure I would have been very apprehensive as to how to help this newborn that cried so much. I remember the first day he had a big giggle; the three other children were in stitches listening to him laughing and in return he just kept laughing at them, it was one of those special moments a mother never forgets.
Daniel has always been a sensitive and very insightful person; this has been a huge strength as a young man however as a child it created challenges. He was often fearful because he had a strong discernment of the possibility of things going wrong. As his parents we soon realised we needed to teach him how to recognise his fears and show him how what we focus on will become our truth whether it is true or not. We taught him how to focus on what could go right rather than what could go wrong. He was inclined to not see his potential and undervalue his worth, so we always spoke life into him and helped him understand that he was magnificently made by God and made for a purpose. As he grew and became interested in different things, we always encouraged him in his capabilities. As we did this, his confidence grew.
I remember one time when he was just twelve years old we all went to Bali for the first time as a family. It was all new and exciting and anyone who knows Bali knows you can buy furniture there at very good prices. Rob decided we would buy an outdoor setting and ship it home to Australia. Daniel , listening to his father about how much more expensive things were in Australia asked Rob could he buy some furniture, get it shipped with our furniture and then sell it at a profit back home. He didn’t have much money of course as a twelve-year-old. However, Rob and I wanted to encourage his initiative so Rob suggested he buy a few cute timber stools that could be used for a variety of things because they were in his price bracket. (Never despise small things always encourage any initiative in your child no matter how young they are or how insignificant it seems).
The excitement of waiting for the shipment to arrive after we were home was fabulous. Daniel would ask us regularly when they would arrive. Daniel had a grand plan of how he was going to sell them all and how he was going to achieve a great profit.
Rob worked with him and they worked out a strategy together. This strategy proved to be a great bonding with them. We were so proud of him and cheered him along all the way.
Some of our friends thought it very strange. They questioned why we didn’t just tell him it would never work. Why would we let him, at such a young age, have such big ideas of success, etc.? The day arrived, with huge anticipation. The boxes were unwrapped and he lined up all of his stools. There was ten to fifteen of them I think, I can’t remember exactly, the number didn’t matter anyway it wasn’t the point. It was the lessons he was going to learn out of this experience that counted, not the money made.
He took some to school and sold them to teachers, he took some to church and sold them to family friends and he sat outside our property and sold some to people driving by. He was so excited, he had accomplished what some people had said he couldn’t, he had come up with a thought that turned into a boyish dream and he had achieved all he set out to accomplish.
The lessons learnt were invaluable:
1. His parents believed in him and his dreams.
2. His ideas were important and were taken seriously by those who love him.
3. He learnt how to come up with a plan, set it out, put it into practice & achieve a good result.
4. He discovered hard work pays off so never give up.
We as parents were reminded to never look down or dismiss dreams or
ideas our children came up with but made sure we did everything we could to help them see those ideas and dreams come true.
Today Daniel is such a tremendous asset to our company and when he comes up with strategies, ideas, dreams and plans, we listen because he is a wise young man who we need on our management team so we are complete. He brings a strength to the team that is so important and I am sure those stools helped create his capabilities in business. The other very important thing about this day is, if my amazing mother were still alive she would be one hundred years old. Daniel was born on my Mum’s seventieth birthday, so as we celebrate Daniel turning thirty I remember that my mum would have been one hundred.
My mother was an extraordinary woman in so many ways and because of her mothering I am was able to mother my children confidently, not perfectly but confidently, knowing how important my mothering was for the next generation.
We as mothers will never do a perfect job, however we are given the most precious privilege to raise outstanding children. When I say outstanding , again I am not saying perfect children. I am saying we can raise children who make a difference in the world by being strong , confident adults who know who they are and know their purpose in life. My mother was a very strong character who believed in her purpose as a mother and always believed the best of her children and for her children. She was very honest about where we were at but totally believed in where she was helping us go. I was a challenging child and teenager who thought something had to be black if mum said it was white. You know that sort of kid that just had to challenge any authority that came her way.
Fortunately for me my mother was very confident in her identity and was not put off by my determination and very strong will. She just put boundaries around me. I needed and made her yes a yes and her no a no.
She always cheered me on when I attempted anything and I always knew she would go to the moon and back for my siblings and me leaving no stone unturned for us to achieve all we could. We butted heads a lot when I was a teenager. Mum was very firm with me because she needed to be. You see she was just like me as a child. She was always fair but strong and as much as I hated it that I couldn’t manipulate her and get away with things, I loved that she loved me enough to be strong with me, I needed it.
My sister was very different to me, she was very compliant and so, of course, the boundaries weren’t pushed as much and so mum didn’t have to be as firm with her. We as parents need to read where each child is at and relate to them as individuals; it will look a bit different for each one and that’s OK.
So, today I want to encourage all mothers and fathers for that matter that your parenting is so crucial to the next generation. Believe in yourself as a parent and know you don’t have to do it perfectly and your children will not be perfect however, you and they can be great.
I honour my mother who has been gone from this earth now for eleven years and I see the legacy she has left behind which is still affecting myself, my children and their children. May I encourage you that your parenting is leaving a legacy. Be encouraged, be confident in your parenting mistakes and all and know your creating the future world.