Last week, Cherry Menlove asked her readers what their prayers for their children would be.
I wrote my reply that day, but it has been on my mind ever since. What would I ask for my child if I could have anything? And what would I ask for myself as a parent?
Today is my birthday and again I find myself wondering what I want to be thankful for at each of my child's birthdays. I think this may start a whole new series called something like "hopes for my child". But for now, let me share that initial prayer I wrote last week:
As I await the arrival of my first and most likely only child, my mind is full of doubts and fears as well as the hopes and dreams I have for our future together. May I always be blessed enough to know that no matter how many mistakes I make, the love I have for my child will overcome whatever we must face together and apart.
May I have the strength and courage to overcome my own insecurities, so that I can show my child how to live life with confidence and conviction. Yet may I remain forever humble enough to pass on the message that love comes first, and no matter what someone else does, the best thing we can do is see the hurt and pain that has caused them to treat us badly, rather than adding to it.
May I have the wisdom and strength of my father, to always know that life is hard and my child will make many mistakes. However much this hurts, may I remember that making mistakes is a part of life and makes us into the adults we long to be. May my child always know that their life is their own, but that I will be there to catch them when they fall and help them pick up the pieces of a broken heart, no matter how many times it happens.
I would ask you to keep my child from harm, for I’d rather suffer myself than know his or her pain, but I know that such a thing is impossible. So please, watch over my child and direct him or her on the path they have chosen and give them the strength and courage to overcome whatever obstacles may be in their way.
And help me, when life gets tough, not to scream and shout and blame you for the pain. Remind me that both light and dark have a part to play and guide me to focus on the light. Don’t let me wallow in self-pity or anger towards anyone or anything that harms my child, but help me to see what I need to do to heal his or her hurt and bring him or her back into the light.
More than anything, help me to nurture my child to become the person that he or she is destined to be, without placing too much of my own expectation and pride upon his or her shoulders. For nothing would please me more, than to see my child grow and follow his or her own heart without ever once feeling the need for my approval.
I truly hope that I can live up to at least some of those things, and maybe add some more I wouldn't even have thought of.
And now, I want to share another mother's wish for her children, in the beautiful song "I hope you dance" by Lee Ann Womack. I first heard this song a couple of years back and fell in love with it straight away. It is such a wonderful wish for anybody, but it seems to have taken on a whole new meaning for me since starting on this road towards motherhood. I think it will join several songs that I will be singing to my child.