Friday, December 12, 2014

Keeping Promises

My husband used to scold his mother whenever she would start bragging about her grandkids. "Mom, no one wants to hear that!" he would say. And then he'd roll his eyes and walk away embarrassed. But that never stopped her from sharing all the good things they were doing, be it milestones of growth,  their grades,  or little things they did on a daily basis that made her proud.

We are all guilty of a little bragging once in awhile. I do it, too. I always beamed when they learned to share, exercised good manners and achieved awards in school. I bragged when they graduated, were married, and had children.

But I used to be extra proud of them when they learned to keep their promises. To me that showed a strength of character and compassion for others.
"I'll be home by ten o'clock," one would say.
 "I'll study harder next time," said another.
"I'll take the trash out after this show, I'll feed the dog, Ill call you when I get there," they promised.

And somewhere along the way, they promised that they would grow up and leave home.

They kept those promises.

Rooms of toys and clothes and school backpacks seemed to disappear overnight. Half eaten pizzas, wasted soda and wet towels on the bathroom floor soon became rare. Hearing their voices in the hallway before bed, listening to them singing with the radio, watching them as they opened presents on Christmas Day....those things happened less and less.

And before I knew it, I turned around and their rooms were empty, their voices were silent, and Christmas Day had lost its magic.

Yet, how could I be upset that they kept their promises? How could I deny them the wings they grew? the dreams they followed? or the lives they made for themselves?

I've always kept my promises, too. I'm sure my mother was proud once. I bet she bragged a little bit on all of us kids.

When my kids were born I promised that I would love them forever. That I'd try to be a good mom. That I would give them room to fly when the time came. That I would always be here for them. That I would try to listen and advise, but never tell them what to do. That I would always smile and be happy for their choices.

I've kept those promises.

Oh, and that I wouldn't brag on them too much.

So I won't.

But I'm proud of them all. They bring me joy and love and memories beyond imagination. They keep me young and adventurous and in tune to what's going on in this big old world.

Simply put, they amaze me!

So, just remember...someday your kids are gonna keep their promises. Someday they will leave for college or a job in another town -or to marry the love of their life. And they will never ever come back to live under your roof.

This Christmas, no matter how old your children are- hug them. ( until they roll their eyes and walk away embarrassed).
Indulge them with treats and attention...share their laughter and tears...memorize their faces, touch their hands and remember their voices.
Listen to their stories, give them your time...and tell them you love, love, love them -

Promise me.

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