Verb of the Week – Want
By Donna Ambler on 6 April 2018
This week I found some really strong inspiration in a blog post by a 37-year-old Canadian woman named Rebecca who is a photographer and mother of four and writes inspirational blogs on a site called simply Simple As That. I found my way to her site via a social media post this morning that made me stop and think about what I want for my children, because she put it all so simply.
She wrote a blog called What if all I want for my kids is an ordinary life? It has clearly resonated with other parents in my local community as I’ve seen it copied several times in the past few hours. She wrote of wanting her children to love and embrace the ordinary things in life, to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. She wants to take the focus away from scoring the most goals, having a report card with straight As and kids getting anxious about the number of likes on their social media posts. She wrote:
"I want them to love deeply, not to be liked by many.
I want contentment, security, love, gratitude, and kindness to be the measure of their success—not their number of Instagram followers or the prestige of the college they get into or the paycheck that comes with their chosen career.
I want them to know what a treasure each ordinary day is."
I have to admit that parenting teenagers rates as the single most difficult thing I have ever done. The highs and lows are excruciating and then I sit back and realise that in a few years they’ll be gone – before we even figure out what we're doing wrong.
The Oxford Dictionaries define the verb want as to have a desire to possess or do (something); to wish for.
I wish I could get through to our children how much we love them and to encourage them to spend more time in the fresh air and less on the PlayStation. Just like Rebecca, I want contentment, security, love, gratitude, and kindness to be the measure of success in their lives. But I guess I need to make those my own measures first.
At a friend’s birthday last year, her daughter described her as the family’s ‘memory maker’. That struck a chord with me and I wish that my children could see that the memories we are making now are what they will look back on and (I hope) cherish as adults. The simple things we do and time we spend together, unencumbered by other people's standards, expectations or judgments.
For so many of us, life is too busy and we just want to slow down and appreciate the simple things. It’s Friday, so perhaps we will take some time out tonight to enjoy the sunset and be in the moment – that’s all I want for now.