Hope For the Best
By Maria Macfarlane

What is your wish for your child?

Whether the mother of a newborn or a well-seasoned mom, it is only natural to look beyond the present and imagine what place our children will have in the world. We contemplate what the future holds and wonder how much of an impact our efforts will have on the way our kids will “turn out.”

Active youngsters hurdle through the stages of childhood, lives change and our role as a parent evolves. Within our heart of hearts, our very deepest wish is that our kids will be fortunate enough to follow their passions, experience real happiness and know true love. Once out on their own they will have challenging years of hard work and accomplishments ahead. Perhaps they will have children of their own one day. If so, what sort of mother/father will they be? What kind of family will they co-create? Will they ever bounce a grandchild on their knee?

A visit with my parents this past Christmas crystallized what must be a seminal moment in every parent’s life. In the midst of us all opening our gifts, my dad quietly sat in his chair overseeing the frenzied excitement. As patriarch of the family, he watched his sons/daughters, their husbands/wives and all the grandchildren revel in the sheer joy of being together. The proud, contented look in his eyes told us that he could not have been happier. At 83, this is his legacy. He was surrounded by a close, loving family that has made an effort to maintain ties and keep its bond strong. What more can a parent ask for? For both my mother and father it is a true testament as to what kind of parents they have been.

My dream for my own children is that wherever their ambitions take them they will achieve a sense of fulfillment along the way. Parents often find themselves consumed with the daily concerns of raising a family. We can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. In the grand scheme of things, we are a branch in the family tree…. preparing the way and laying the foundation upon which the next generation can build. We, who were once children, venture out and start families of our own. Our kids grow up to be mothers and fathers, our parents become grandparents then they, in turn, pass the torch onto us.

Parenthood is a profoundly demanding, yet satisfying endeavor. We invest a lifetime of dedication to the care of our family and the well being of our children. The rewards for our undying commitment lie in seeing the fruits of our labor blossom and then flourish. After all, there is no greater joy than seeing our children mature into independent, caring, well adjusted people.