My husband was presented with a community leadership award over the weekend. We attended a beautiful banquet hosted by an amazing, grassroots non-profit where he and a few other remarkable individuals were honored. He has accepted several of these types of awards, actually, for the amazing work he is privileged to do at the helm of a non-profit that helps children and families. We enjoyed the banquet while sitting among over a hundred volunteers, all giving of themselves to make the world a better and brighter place. It was an inspiring evening.
When I find myself in these situations, I feel blessed and I feel proud of the man next to me. But, I also feel something else. Humbled, sure, but ... what's the word I'm looking for? Like a total slack ass. Yeah, that's it.
I think of the things I could be doing, the volunteer work I'm not making time for, the good intentions that don't translate into good works.
"You're raising our children," Dr. Fabulous reminds me. "You're raising the next generation. These girls will be part of the community and, hopefully, doing good while they're in it."
There are no plaques to hang on your wall or trophies to place on the mantle for being a parent. Nor, necessarily, should there be. We don't parent for accolades (though some praise every now and then is kinda nice, I'll admit). Parenthood is a huge responsibility, a huge privilege, a huge blessing and ... for me... parenthood is a great reminder. It reminds me that there is good in the world and that I am investing in the future of that good.
I'm inspired by watching them live their day to day with their own little thoughts and minds. As their own little people. We, as parents, do our best to shape them and they of course reflect our values and actions and words. But, they grow into their own little beings. The older my girls grow, they become less and less like their Mom or their Dad and more and more like themselves.
The choices they make from an innocent heart (still uncorrupted by the world I hold at bay) remind me to see the world a bit less jaded; as full of possibilities, heros and redemption. The charity in their hearts comes with such ease; reflexive and joy-filled. It reminds me to open myself up to the same.
And the person who inspires so much of it? Well, that would be CB. The lessons she teaches us all, the kindness and compassion she engenders, and the subtle way she reminds of us to appreciate the little things in life... this is a happy side effect of being such a unique child.
And, we've been the lucky beneficiaries.