Between the news and a death in the family, parenting has felt heavy and hard these past few weeks. I have had to explain things to my kids I was not ready to talk about. Of course we are never really ready, but life just keeps happening. They have questions and deserve answers.
As parents, we try to speak about certain things in a way that won’t scare them but is also truthful. It is a struggle. For me, it’s the most difficult part of parenting, but I always want my voice to be the one that my kids hear first. We can have a strong influence on their beliefs, especially while they are young. It’s important to me to ensure they see this world as a beautiful place and to also know they can add to that beauty. I cannot live under a rock and protect my children from all evil, but I can continue to show them the wonderful things this place has to offer and that there is beauty in this world.
There is beauty in helping others.
Their help will always be needed. Helping others, even when you don’t feel like you have anything to give, can lift you up so much you won’t be able to stop giving. When I am feeling down about something, it’s so hard to teach this, let alone practice it myself. And yet we all know its worth, especially while teaching our children how to be kind people.
There is beauty in nature.
Like the magic in a sunset, the intoxicating smell of lilacs, or a mother bird sitting on her eggs. Nature is a vision, one that should be noticed often. Peeling my kids away from their contentedness to show them the fireflies dancing outside on a summer evening is something I do every chance I get. These small moments can transform into lifelong memories for both of us.
There is beauty in every emotion.
I want them to know it is OK to feel. Even if those feeling are not good, it is all right to feel anger or sadness. To feel is human, and to stuff our feelings deep down is unhealthy. We can’t learn or make the world a better place if we don’t allow ourselves to understand what we are feeling, deal with it in the right way, and learn from it.
There is beauty in looking for the good.
Many situations have good things associated with them. Sometimes they are really hard to see. Other times they present themselves to us right away. It is up to us to look for the good, rather than to expect others to bring it to us.
There is beauty in others.
I want them to inspire and be inspired. I want them to surround themselves with people who lift them up, to have the strength to walk away from someone who doesn’t feed them in a healthy way. We feel our most beautiful when we are surrounded by love.
There is beauty in silence.
It is fine to just sit and be. Sometimes it feels scary to be alone with our own thoughts, but it can also be sublime.
There is beauty in the most simple things.
A hug, a smile, an ice cream cone. Things don’t have to be big and perfect to be divine. There is so much beauty found in the small and unadorned.
I want my kids to always have sunshine in their souls. I can show them the way, but most of the beautiful things in this life will come from moments they have independent of me. They will decide what is beautiful to them. It’s nothing I can manufacture, try as I might. But I will continue to point out the beauty I see in this world every day, because as they get older, things will get scary fast. Hopefully by planting the seed, they will continue to feed it.
Life is an epic adventure. I want them to live it and to carry beauty with them as they grow. I don’t want to put the fear of god in them about everything, which feels so hard lately. But I have to remember they will never reach their full potential if I keep them hidden away. So I will continue to show my kids all the beautiful things life can give us if we just keep looking, no matter how hard it feels. It is a good reminder for me too. These small moments I have shared with my children have gotten me through some of my darkest days.