So then I started thinking, "what do I want for my little baby more than anything else?" I think of various personal virtues, values, talents and abilities. Tonight my thoughts turned to empathy and love. As I think back over the people in my life who have made the most lasting impression, I think of people who gave me their time and their consideration, people who perhaps sacrificed their personal desires and agendas for a moment just to listen to me or to help me in a moment of need. The people who have made the greatest impression on me are not those who were the most intelligent or who were the most talented, they were those who sacrificed themselves. That is the type of person I want to raise and therefore the type of person I need to be.
Sometimes I think, "come on kid! Do you really need to be held right now? I need to do the dishes" or "I'd really like to read this book" or, "Please go/stay asleep! I'm tired!!!" While these are definitely good and worthwhile thoughts, the dishes will stay, the book will be there next week, and I can take a nap with him in the morning. But what I need, and want, to teach him now and forever is that it's worth sacrificing one's time to help someone in need. Since I believe the best teacher is example, suddenly those dishes can wait a little longer when my little one needs to be held or needs a cuddle. Perhaps someday he too will put aside something to hold a friend who needs to cry or to cuddle with his dear wife who needs a little bit of attention. That is the man that I hope I'm raising.