January 17, 2012
Really, really important.
Bedrock of society.
Foundation of the culture.
Cornerstone of the future.
Have I mentioned really, really important?
Over the last century, the place of family in society has shifted from that of bedrock (or foundation or cornerstone) to something nice to have, kind of like dessert after a meal. That's a good analogy, really, because we see it as something we should be able to enjoy. We work hard enough, you know. And, then there are things that eat up all of our time, like work, the gym and – yes, I'll say it – football. (Couldn't help it… I live in Packerland;-) Family stuff is nice, but we need to do all of the important stuff first, right?
Ok, that's a little cold. But, I know people who feel this way, even if they won't verbalize it quite so cynically. They are overwhelmed with everything life is throwing at them. If their families don't put up with this type of prioritizing, they either leave the family or they check out. I will, however, let you in on a little secret…
Most of them don't really want to live like that. Most of them want to be anchors for their mates and sages for their children. They want to frolic and train and teach and guide. They dream of meaningful discussions, fits of hilarity, and moments spent sitting in front of a fire telling old stories that aren't really funny to anyone but the people in that room. What they don't realize is that the only thing standing in their way is knowledge (and a little self-sacrifice.)
One of the (many) values that drew Scott and I together was the desire to intentionally create our family. We had our kids somewhat later than many. That delay gave us a whole lot of time to watch and learn. We learned a great deal… of what we didn't want to be. Snotty passive aggressive spousal interactions made us cringe. And, whining, ungrateful, selfish, jaded children weren't really at the top of our list either. We started to get a little bit frightened because we saw so little of what we did want. Where were the families that we could look up to and learn from?
Gratefully, we did find some. But, all of that searching made us realize that something is missing as young people shift from single to married with children. The desire to have a committed, happy and loving family is there. Unfortunately, the knowledge is not.
So, over the next month, Professor Mom is going to be talking about what it means to intentionally create your family, with a focus on traits such as commitment, perseverance, self-sacrifice, humor, joy, willingness, honesty and a good work ethic. We'll take a look at a "day in the life" of that family. It won't be all roses and happy faces, no family goes through life in a bubble. But, some families have the tools they need to get through the good and the bad, and that is where we are going to set our sights!