Friday, August 13, 2010

What I Want for My Son

Daniel and I were talking a little bit earlier this week about how often, in movies and television shows, we hear parent characters talking about how all they really want is for their children to be happy. “Happy.” That’s it. As though there isn’t much more to life than temporal happiness—if that’s not on the road to hedonism, it’s pretty darn close. Is that what we want? Of course we want our son to be happy. But what exactly does that mean? This is what I want for my son (and this of course applies to any/all of his future siblings as well):

I want him to have a happy childhood, full of laughter. I want him to develop a love for learning, an active and playful imagination, and an infectious zeal for life.

I want him never to be forced into close familiarity with fear, sorrow, or pain.

I want him to have true friends to walk with him in every stage of his life, from childhood to old age, and I want him to be a true friend to others.

I want him to be confident in himself and his talents, with a healthy understanding and belief in his value as a child of God, as well as recognizing that same value in those around him.

I want him to have a generous spirit, always counting his blessings and ready to share what he has with those who have less.

I want him always to know how much he is loved, by Daniel and me, and by God.

I want him to walk with God from his first steps to his last, and to find in his Creator and Savior a loving Father, brother, and best friend. I want him to seek God’s will in every choice he makes, and I want him to find it.

I want him to have faith that is stronger than my own, and strength to overcome the many temptations that come his way in an overly materialistic, self-indulgent, and improperly sexualized culture.

But still, I want him to experience doubt—enough to make him search for the truth until he finds it and his faith is strengthened, but never so much that his faith is overwhelmed.

I want him to respect all people’s searches for truth even when they differ from his own, but without succumbing to relativism. I want him to have courage to stand up for his beliefs and against evil in the world.

I want him to do good out of a pure desire to serve God for love of Him.

I want him to live a healthy long life, but without fear of death. I want him to have the “peace which surpasses all understanding.”

Yes, I want for Charlie to have happiness in this life as much as possible, but more importantly happiness in the life to come. I want him to experience eternal joy with God. In short, I want my son to be a saint.

Okay, let’s bring this full circle. I want Charlie to be a *happy* saint!

The question for us parents just starting out with a new baby is: how do you raise a saint? It sounds like a pretty overwhelming task when you put it that way…


Catherine! said...

Oh I love your list! What beautiful hopes and dreams to have for your son. My own (also named Daniel!)is a little over 3 months - and of course I want him to be a happy saint, too! Any suggestions on good Catholic parenting books you've found? Or maybe just general suggestions or practices your family or Daniel's used? I didn't grow up in a Catholic household, so I feel like I'm starting from scratch. Maybe you could write a post about those!

Good Thunder said...

You raise saints by being Jesus to them- you know- dying for them daily! And you'll only die for someone who you love IMMENSELY- and you'll only have the strength to die for them if you are united to God and aflame with the Holy Spirit. I'm reading "The Priest is Not His Own" by Bishop Fulton Sheen and he begs priests to be victims for their flock- I think it's the same way with parents. Your family is your vocation and spending yourself totally on them is just the way to go. I keep thinking about how I want to get all my work done quickly so I can have that- that "something" that comes after work- but I don't realize that my work IS my life- that almighty "free time" isn't the goal- the goal is to LIVE everything God sends my way- to embrace it, enjoy- take DELIGHT in the crosses! It also helps to fast and pray a lot yourself. Saintly parents make saintly kids. Have you ever read "Story of a Family"? It's about St Therese's family life growing up- all about her parents and it's such a joy to read. Have a lovely day!

jGazMom said...

I think the best way to raise chidren to be saints is to pray for them (and with them)and to give them the best example you can. God will take care of the rest.