July 18, 2012
Gabriel was baptized on Saturday.
It was a whirlwind leading up to that event. My stepdaughters are in town so we have been active nearly every day. In addition to horseback riding, attending parties, swimming and sightseeing, we have also been working out nearly every day. Since they know we enjoy living a healthy and active lifestyle, promoting fitness with my stepdaughters wasn’t something I wanted to enforce. Instead, it was something that came natural because of the foods in our house, the activities we engage in daily and the healthy conversations we encourage.
Working out started with walking to the park and attending my mom-me fit group. Then, we started attending dance classes together. Then, they started learning about weight training through their father. Then, we started going to the gym every day. The 11-year-old would often rock climb, the 13-year-old would exercise with her father and I would perform a class, sometimes with both of them. As the weeks progressed I saw an increase in their enthusiasm for exercise and personal self confidence. There are many days when there are requests to go to the gym twice in one day.
The highlight so far occurred last night. The boys were in their beds. I was sitting in the living room after my shower and the girls were busily doing something sneaky in my office. Moments later they popped out and showed me a binder. Our eldest, created a “Fitness Binder” where she organized her nutrition and workout calendars. She also has an additional planner, which will be used to document her workouts when training inside the gym.
I am so proud of them.
Without pushing or prodding, she chose to create something for her – to help document a process that is challenging, rewarding and beneficial for her growth.
As parents, we stood as tool providers, as supporters and most of all, as role models.
Now that Gabriel was given his Christian Baptism, it is our responsibility to be spiritual role models…to try and be like Christ: loving, forgiving and understanding. Being, “like Christ” is not easy of course. As a Christian I’ve had challenges in my faith throughout my life. I had children before marriage. I reacted wrongly to people I disliked. At times I even rejected my faith because of the darkness of my depression. In my evolution, I inherently knew that my adversity created strength. My pain created power. Most of all, my moments of doubt strengthened my faith.
Through challenging oneself to be a better person, you build ability, confidence, self control and personal understanding.
Aiming to constantly be a better person provides a life-long lesson for any child. After all, there is someone looking at you, observing you, emulating the things you say and do. None of us are perfect, but …that’s part of your journey…your family’s journey…and most of all, their journey.
Parental achievement comes when you take them on the first leg of their life journey and successfully create a foundation that will assist them in the rest of their journey. Through your example, they take the good from you, hopefully leave the bad, and are able to operate with personal motivation to evolve as a better person.
That is our hope for all our children.