My Love for my Kids (MLK)
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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”” is a quote that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed many years ago. It is relevant in today’s world and also more importantly within families. Ok, I get it. As parents, we do not march around with love on our minds 24/7, nor do we smile at the bad decisions that our children make from time to time. Sometimes you can feel like your kids find amusement in seeing your face gritted because of their actions while they begin to internally laugh at your reaction. You begin to question if they were doing it for fun?
But, and please note that we all do not make the best decisions sometimes, love has an overbearing control over people and what we do for them. Case in point, over the holiday weekend, our kids decided to leave us to go and spend time with their friends. I was nervous, but hey, why not? Yes, they are at that point where they will leave and enjoy themselves, without daddy or mommy. I held back some tears, and gradually that sadness became happiness when I realized I wouldn’t have to hear two determined and open-minded individuals debate on whose turn it was to wash the dishes or clean the bathroom. Amongst other things thought, I cracked a slight grin and agreed.
The house was quiet at first, no potato chips on the counter to clean up; no video game noise and a loud cheer because a buzzer beater shot made a swoosh; and no “play” school from my daughter’s imaginary school yard. It gave me the time to reflect on what we were doing as parents to make sure our kids were growing up in a great environment. And when I did, I came up with the fact that the kind of love that we share with our kids makes them comfortable and confident to go out in the world without us at times.
Parenting is what you are doing for “others” as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so accurately described it. The former “give to me” attitude takes a 180-degree turn into a “give to” attitude for parents. And who better to show unconditional love, support and gratitude to than your very own smart, intelligent, witty and sometimes messy children? Giving love and support to your children constantly will give them the stepping stones needed to share that demeanor with everyone else they encounter.
G. I. Barrett, II, a short story author, novelist, freelance writer and poet, is a North Carolina native and proud father of a son and daughter. He has forthcoming novels, including The Rise & Fall of Love’s Gravitational Pull. Connect with Barrett on Twitter: @therealgeneralb, Instagram: @wordolo_g and Facebook: facebook.com/therealgeneralb.