The Sweetness of Character

I was reading this article in the new Focus on the Family magazine. The basics of it was that we focus so much on what kids want to be when they grow up–their profession, not what type of person they will be. It really got me thinking and how I want to foster character, not the accomplished tasks in my children. I don’t want to be focused solely on their accomplishments because the reality is that when we, as humans, grow up our job is not who we are. Sometimes we get confused because our job gets so intertwined with who we are that we forget that they are separate issues.

So as I pondered on this whole mindset today, my daughter showed me that I am already headed in the right direction. I just need to stay on track. Right beneath my nose, my daughter was displaying a bit of her character. You see, my husband and I will be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary on Monday. My daughter caught wind of that and nonchalantly asked for my parents phone number. She snuck upstairs to her room with a phone and called in her grandparents for some help. She wanted to get to the Dollar Tree store by our house so that she could buy us a gift and needed a ride there. Let me remind you that previous to this year, my children have been pretty oblivious to our anniversary. I’m not even sure they knew what the word “anniversary” even meant.

She also nonchalantly asked what the cross streets were to the nearest Dollar Tree store. By now I was starting to catch on that something fishy was going on, but I decided to pretend my oblivion and see what she had up her sleeve. Both of my parents are teachers so since they are on vacation, they were able to stop what they were doing and jump onto my daughter’s bandwagon. Off they went to buy us a priceless gift at the dollar store.

At this point I must ask, what in the world is my daughter going to buy for our anniversary at the dollar store that is priceless? Nothing, of course, but this whole escapade is without monetary value. My daughter wanted to express her love on behalf of herself and her brothers and took initiative to do something about it. It means the world to me that my daughter sees her parents marriage and wants to celebrate it.

My mom says that my daughter had something very specific in mind that she wanted to buy for us, but it was not available at the dollar store. Hmm…I wonder what that item was? For now I shall not know because that package full of love is sitting in our living room waiting to be opened on our anniversary. Honestly, I really don’t want to open that package. My love tank is full just thinking about the sweet spirit of my daughter, but I will open it and celebrate whatever it is that she deemed worthy at the dollar store of bestowing upon her parents love for another. I will celebrate that I’m on the right road to making sure that my daughter is a woman of substance as she grows up, no matter what occupation her future holds.

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