Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Kids Give Me Hope

I recently discovered an amazing website, Many of you may have known about this site for years, but being a blogging novice, I had no idea it existed. It is a website comprised entirely of blogs by women and for women. Topics run the gamut. Anything and everything from parenting to sex and relationships to current events to humor to politics....and everything in between. I spent the evening last night reading some amazingly thought-provoking blog entries written by everyday women with incredible voices.

There is a section of the website called "Kids Give Me Hope." It was a collection of small blurbs...tons of short stories comprised of a couple of sentences explaining ways in which children are spreaders of hope. In the often ugly world we live in, we could all use a little hope now and then. We need to know that positive changes are happening...if not for our own generation, then for the next. I found myself inspired by some of these entries I was reading and decided I would do my own version. These are of few of the ways in which my own children give me hope.

Sophie was having her older brother make her a new Mii character on the Wii. When it came to skin color, she chose the darkest color option available. When I asked why she chose that color, she quickly responded "because it is the prettiest." My daughter's color-blindness gives me hope.

I was sitting in the living room minding my own business when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, flashes of skin running past me. My three children had all taken off their shirts and were wearing capes and running around playing a superhero game of some sort. My daughter had no qualms about removing her t-shirt and playing right along with the boys. And they had no qualms about letting her. The gender equality of my children gives me hope.

Every night when I tuck Nicholas into bed, he will hug me tightly and say, "I love you more than you can believe." His ability to express affection without barriers gives me hope.

Watching The Sound of Music for the first time with my seven-year-old son, he gushed at how "beautiful" the music was. A few days later, I caught him walking through Target absentmindedly singing "The Hills are Alive." My son's ability to forgo masculine stereotypes and enjoy the beauty in a song gives me hope.

As we were preparing to visit Santa on Christmas Eve, the boys were getting dressed in their button down shirts and red sweater vests. Sophie looked at her brothers and said, "The boys look so handsome." Sophie's ability to give compliments unabashedly gives me hope.

My children have never once asked why they do not have a dad nor expressed a desire for a dad. They understand that all families are different, and that our family just happens to have two moms. Their absolute acceptance of diversity as a natural part of life gives me hope.

The kids were watching a Scooby Doo movie on Netflix. Nicholas gets scared when anything even remotely creepy happens, so Scooby Doo with its fake monsters and ghosts is not a favorite. Lucas looked over at Nicholas, obviously getting nervous, and said, "You can come sit by me if you're scared, Nicky." Lucas' kindness gives me hope.

This past Fall, Sophie helped me plant about 100 flower bulbs of various varieties in our back yard. When we finished, she was beside herself with giddiness as she exclaimed, "Our yard is going to be SO beautiful next year when it is filled with flowers!" Her love of the natural world gives me hope.

One day I overheard my children discussing their futures. Lucas planned on marrying his sister, Sophie. They would then live together with their brother Nicholas in a house next door to the one we live in their moms could visit often. When I casually mentioned to Lucas that a brother can't marry a sister, he responded with, "Yes I can because I love her." My children's innocence gives me hope.

Times they are changing. I believe that those of us doing the rigorous work of parenting right now...those of us in the trenches, giving of our blood, sweat, and tears with little to no recognition every single day...are raising the generation that will change our world. The generation that will one day overcome the barriers of inequality and prejudice and make this world a better place for us all. I have to believe that. I have to have hope in a better future. And my children are the ones who give me that hope. Every day. In a multitude of ways. They are are my optimism. My expectation. My promise of a better tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

your kids are SO cute. :)i just wanna hug them all lol

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