As a parent there is nothing you want more in life than for your child(ren) to be happy.
No, I mean it. Nuh-thing.
You see, there’s something that happens inside when you become a parent. I wouldn’t call it strange, or weird, it’s just…well, different.
In an instant, whether you feel it or not, everything changes.
No matter what your plans were before, how many mountains you were going to climb, those promotions you were going to seek, or those salaries you were going to make, they all fall to a distant second behind making your child happy.
And for the most part, in most homes, I’d say as they grow up they’re happy.
As a toddler they cry for ice cream or a cookie and you get it. Happiness accomplished.
When they hit middle school and someone breaks their heart for the first time, you want nothing more than to restore happiness with a hug and a “it’ll be ok”.
Restoring happiness is always the goal.
Yeah, there are other goals along the way. Soccer championship. Saving enough for a car. Meeting the right mate. Buying a home.
But if you look at those, their core driver is still happiness.
When they turn into young adults, and life kicks them in the ass, you still want to step in. Its what good parents do.
Or want to do.
At some point, they’ll have to start choosing their own happiness.
They’ll be making decisions that affect their happiness, and you’ll just be an observer.
What a crock.
This position between letting them grow up and you stepping in to restore happiness is one no parent desires.
Do they really have to learn these lessons? Do they really have to go through this?
Yes, of course they do.
And they’ll be better for it.
But it hurts.
It hurts because their happiness is your fuel. It’s your reason for being. Its the only thing that makes the universe right.
Without it, things are askew. Your life is off kilter.
Even our last moments on earth are yet another point in their life when unhappiness could abound.
They’ll be unhappy because their lifelong defender will have gone away.
Is there anything we can do about that?
Not at that moment, no. Its too late.
But if we do it right, I think we can leave them in a way that also makes them happy. We can teach them truths that give them freedom from fear, their future, and even death.
And if we teach them those things, I believe they’ll always be happy.
And that means our mission will have been accomplished.