I met a friend at Starbuck’s yesterday (still no free WiFi) that I haven’t talked to in years. We spent about an hour catching up. A lot of that time was spent on children updates. Our kids have grown up in the time since our last chat. We bragged about the things they accomplished and bemoaned their seeming inability to commit to something with true passion.
As we talked, I realized that parenting is harder than we think it is. At the same time, I realized that parenting is easier than we think too. Julie and I both complained about the current path of some of our children, then we both expressed our complete confidence that they will find their way — that their upbringing has prepared them to be successful. We just have to let go of our definition of success so we can start to see theirs.
In the end, what all parents should really care about is having happy children. I know lots of wealthy, well-educated people who can’t remember their last happy moment. I’d much rather see my children always smiling than always achieving. As parents, we often forget that.