I am still trying to figure out this parenting thing, but being that my kids aren't yet even school age, I've got a while to figure it out. Will I let my teens date? Will there be a curfew? When will I give"the talk"? Will I let them wander the neighborhood unattended? Will I homeschool or public school? What kind of parent will they remember me as?
I saw a Chuck E. Cheese commercial that rubbed the wrong way. A boy praised his mom, thanking her for taking him to Chuck E. Cheese and mentioned how cool she was.
I won't deny my child things like amusement parks and the like, but that isn't what it means to be a parent, and a parent should rarely be "cool".
I want to be remembered not for the fact I took my child to Chuck E. Cheese or bought him hug me Elmo. Sure, I even fondly remember my parents taking me to Chuck E Cheese, but as I have grown, I remember them fondly for more than that; for more ethereal reasons I guess.
I want to be remembered as the mom who gave her children unconditional love, even when that love was spoken through clenched teeth growling, "you're grounded". I want to be remembered as a mom who kissed boo-boos and sang silly songs to make my children giggle. I want to be remembered for making sure my children were thankful, and for respecting elders and helping those in need. I want to be remembered as the mom who pushed for the best education possible. I want to be remembered as the mom who gave just the right amount of independence an responsibility.
I hope they remember more than just the big ticket gifts or amusement park adventures, not just lessons for life, but the little things, like walks around the lake at sunset, cooking meals together, making crafts, collecting acorns, skipping rocks.
I know I will stumble and fall sometimes as a parent. I will recognize my mistakes as a lesson and transfer that lesson to my children, that we humans are imperfect but should try every day to better ourselves and our world.
When my children end up parents themselves, I hope we grow closer, I hope they appreciate the mom I was and always will be. If they forget to thank me, all I will need is to look at the men they will have become and know I did a damned good job.