Last night was a “proud parent moment” for my husband and I. My daughter was inducted into the National Elementary Honor Society. Who knew they did this in elementary school? Not me. But she was chosen. The young man who spoke at the ceremony was a senior in high school and had attended this very school. He had a long list of achievements which included Valedictorian, National Merit Scholarship along with being accepted into the Honor’s program for college. He was quite an impressive gentleman. I sat there and thought of how proud his parents must be. He has achieved so much in his young life.
When we returned home, we told our older son, who is going into high school next year, about the speaker. We shared his impressive accomplishments. Although he didn’t say it, I got the feeling my son was a bit jealous we had such praise for a young man we didn’t even know. Our son is a very bright boy and will accomplish a lot if he sets his mind to it. His drive comes from his desire to please his parents. He seems to do as we ask so as to avoid any bit of conflict. But as we shared our story, I had the feeling he thought we weren’t proud of him.
Our other son, my daughter’s twin, has also struggled with the success of his sister. We have made a big deal of her accomplishment. She has worked hard and deserves to be recognized for it. But he felt bad he wasn’t nominated. School simply isn’t his thing. He gets the same grades as his sister, but his attitude is different. He just gets the work done. She strives to do her best. He has other gifts and talents and we are working to draw those out. But in the meantime, I don’t want him to feel as though we don’t love him because he is not in NEHS.
Parenting is hard. I want to encourage my children to be their best at all times. I want them to accomplish what they set out to do. But I never what them to think they need to achieve in order for me to be proud of them. As a child of God, He calls us to achieve certain things. He calls us to step out in faith and use the gifts He has given us. But God’s love is not based in our achievement. He loves us because He created us. We don’t have to earn it. And I never want my children to feel like they have to earn my love. They are three great kids I’m a very proud parent!
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1NIV)