Today I went fishing with the family camp. It was so amazing to see how openminded some of those kids were. Of course, it was most likely because they have a family member with a disability, but it really got me thinking about how I would want to raise my possible future offspring. Here are some of the things I thought of...
If I ever have kids I will teach them to be respectful. I don't mean being brown nosers to anyone in power, but I will teach them to treat every person with dignity and respect regaurdless of disability, appearance, social status, or age. I will teach them to respect the religion and beliefs of others. I will teach them never to tell anyone that their religious beliefs are wrong, but to stand by their own beliefs and defend what they believe is right in a respectful manner, even when under fire about their beliefs.
I will teach my kids to respect the earth above all objects. I will teach them to treat the earth with the same dignity as people might treat their holy book or as much dignity as americans are expected treat the flag with. I will show them that if everyone treated the earth with as much respect as they treat these symbols, we could be in a much better place.
I will teach my kids to ignore gender roles and to do what they want in their life. If my boys want to take art and music classes, they will take them. If my girls want to play sports and get all muddy, they will do that too. They will not, however, track that mud in the house. Regaurdless of gender.
If I ever have kids, I will teach them how to catch a frog. I will teach them how good bumblebees are for the ecosystem. I will teach them how to fish and I will teach them to take their fish off the hooks.
If I ever have kids I will teach them how to hold their own, and how to stick to their beliefs. I will teach them about peer pressure, and even if it falls on deaf teenage ears, I will teach them that they never need to do anything just because their friends are doing it.
I will teach my kids to embrace their inevitable nerdyness. I will teach them that their people are out there, and they are waiting for them. I will teach my kids that they are beautiful. I will teach them to be healthy and to have a healthy body image. I will teach my kids that a little bit of pudge never killed anyone, and what matters is that their healthy. I will assure them that the awkward phase where everything on them seems so disproportionate is just that, a phase. I will teach them not to fear cameras, but to strike a pose. I will teach them to never fear looking silly.
If I ever have kids I will teach them that in order to get the best for themselves they must first face some challenges. They must face disappointment, and they must shed tears. I will teach them that everything good in life comes at a price, and its almost always worth it. I will teach my kids that no matter how bad a day might be, it will soon be followed by a good day, and I will also teach them that no matter how bad they have it on any given day, there is someone else out there who has it just as bad, if not worse.
If I ever have kids I will teach them to love eachother even when they fight. I will teach them that friends come and go, but their siblings will be there for them for as long as they live.
I will teach my kids that no matter what, there is always someone in the world who loves them. There is always someone who needs them in their life, and there is always a reason to live if they think hard enough about it.
If I ever have kids I will teach them everything I know that they need to know to lead a happy, healthy life.