I never found parenting books interesting until I became a parent (not too shocking, eh?). And as I’ve read here and there, I’ve run across a thought that doesn’t sit quite right with me. It goes something like: “Our purpose in parenting is to raise amazing kids.” (For “amazing” you could substitute “accomplished,” “standout” or “praised”).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think my daughter is amazing (I’m clearly biased!). And I hope that she will grow to be more amazing still.
But I think that there is a subtle danger here– this message I’m talking about seems to say that the value of parenting is determined by the result.
When you think about it, this is mighty discouraging when the results are years away and far from clear. If my child doesn’t turn out to be amazing (gasp!) then was all my sacrifice not worth it?
You see, I think we all believe that each child is worth being loved and cared for regardless of how amazing–or not amazing–she or he turns out to be. I believe there is value in laying down my life for the good of another, regardless of whether the outcome of that sacrifice is particularly remarkable.
I think my purpose in parenting– as in the rest of life– is to be faithful. To be faithful to love, to teach, to nurture, and, today after naptime, to read books on the couch for the umpteenth time.
Because she is a precious little person. And she’s worth it.