YOUR STORY: Tracy Vitela
I think for most parents, at least for me, I worry about my children’s future, specifically their happiness. In our society we ask our kiddos all the time, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” A constant reminder that they must know and choose now. I’m 38, and my mom friends and I are still asking ourselves, “What do we want to be when we grow up?”
My kids’ happiness is everything to me. I don’t always succeed at showing them happiness in everything, but I do try my best.
I don’t want them to worry if their highlight reel looks good enough to “earn” a like. I want them to be happy even if it’s out of style or missing a few thousand likes to be a viral hit. I want them to know they don’t have to ace every test or get into the very best college. I want them to experience the best kind of friendships. The kind that make you cry so hard from laughter. I want them to know that not everyone will like them and they won’t always be invited. I want them to know they will get peer pressured or booted. But if they can find the good things in everything, their hearts will be full, and with experience, they will be grateful. I want them to be happy with themselves as they are, made perfectly. I’ve learned that the only way to succeed in knowing happiness is loving yourself first. Every darn part of you.
It matters to me that they are fulfilled and grateful. It matters to me that they find joy in giving abundantly and to those less fortunate. It matters that their hearts are beaming when helping others. It matters most to know that they have the chance to impact others by their words and actions. I want them to know they can show people that a mix of a great smile, some good neighborly love and genuine kindness can really be the ripple our world needs today. It only takes one person at a time.
Giving my kids a chance to know joy is an overwhelming success in my book. Have I achieved that? Not sure, they’re still growing, learning and experiencing all the fun and messy parts of being a kiddo. Is it scary? Heck yeah, it is! But I wouldn’t want it any other way.
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