What Matters MostA Parent's Bucket List

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Monday, February 13, 2012

What Matters Most

A Parent's Bucket List

I am a creature of habit. I like to begin my mornings with a cup of coffee and the morning paper: sort of the calm before the storm of my daily routine. I was reading the San Francisco Chronicle the other morning when an article made me laugh out loud. A man in Montana led police on a chase at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. When the troopers finally pulled him over, they asked him why he'd done it. The guy looked at them, shrugged, and said, "I just always wanted to do that." He was fined $1,000.

I do not recommend emulating his behavior:It's dangerous and foolish. But there's somethingn to be said for making one's dreams come to life. My husband and I spent a recent vacation on the north shore of Kauai, and I decided that I was going to take a surfing lesson. No particular reason, other than that I grew up body-surfing and boogie-boarding but never had the chance to try to stand up on a surfboard. I'd always wanted to try and I realized that at 57, I'm not exactly getting younger. I had a great teacher, and after about an hour of paddling, flailing, and falling, I found myself standing upright on my board, riding a wave in to the beach. It was absolutely thriliing.

When I told a friend that I'd crossed an item off my bucket list, he asked if that meant I was one step closer to the bucket. I laughed--but the truth is that every day that passes brings us one step closer to that bucket. How long can we risk waiting to achieve our hopes and dreams?

So, here's a question for you to ponder, gentle readers. If you are a parent, what is on your Parenting Bucket List? What experiences do you want your child to have as she grows to adulthood? If you could pack her memory box with treasures to savor later on, what moments would you give her to remember and cherish? Every parent I know is busy. They work hard to build a home and nurture their families; sometimes time to just "be" and to connect with those you love without feeling rushed or anxious is hard to come by. And sometimes, parents compensate for the nagging sense that they're not present enough with, well, presents: we give things instead of time and memories. But as childhood passes, it's not the things that children remember. They will remember moments, memories, laughter, closeness, connection. 

What do you remember of your own childhood? Are there memories you wish you had, but don't? What do you want your child to remember when she is your age? Now is the time to begin that Parenting Bucket List, and to make those wishes reality. Make it a rich, full life, for you and for your child. You won't regret it.

| Posted by cheryl | Monday, February 13, 2012|


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