"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." --Thoreau
So many things we want to pass on to them, to teach them, to arm them the ability to disarm under duress, without backing down and with minimal compromise when needed in their ongoing search for self and relative happiness.
Our children, genetic blend upon genetic blend, whether ours or others, hopefully will learn and development in a way that sets them up for success. Not success in the way that we initially think of it -- oodles of money, security and some monumental impact on the world -- but success in the way they live, in what they see, in how they react to every incremental circumstance good, bad or in between.
Success from the joy of Zen. (We may joke about the realities of finding oneself and achieving enlightenment, but I'll be damned if I don't have the last laugh.)
However, I hope, but can only imagine, that our girls' future is brighter and more opportune than the generation before them. According to Pew Research, "Millennials are also the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles."
And yet, according to the same recent research, they're the most optimistic about their economic prospects. But they're also quite distrustful of others compared to other generations. What a conundrum. I hope that's not the case with our girls' generation.
Again, we hope we're helping them "see" as clearly as possible, regardless of what they're "looking at," using positive discipline so as to encourage healthy emotional intelligence development. Easier said than done for me, since I'm such a grump jumper.
Meaning that, although I've come a long way with my own "Zenning hard" self (continuous non-reactive "balance" development takes a lot of energy), it's too easy for me to jump to being a grumpy Daddysaur in the face of, oh, things like a broken sewer line six feet down in our front yard costing us thousands of unplanned for dollars.
Holy crap indeed. Yep, whatever stink life throws in front of us, grumping jumping ain't solving much of anything except making others, and yourself, feel like crap. (I'll end the sewage metaphors now.)
And did I tell you I dropped my iPhone face first onto frozen concrete? Did you hear that glass shatter? Sure that's pretty mild with all the other crappy (sorry) things and people that can happen to us in life, but most kids are grump jumpers by default, and impulse control is important to learn and no time like the pending mindful presence of toddlerville today.
The Mama and I want our girls to be relentless in their search for self and relative happiness while celebrating those who both complement, and challenge, the journey.
Zen hard, my girls. And Zen well.