One hundred years from now, it will not matter what car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, or what my clothes looked like. But one hundred years from now, the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child. - an anonymous piece of wisdom I found floating in the blog world.
My own parents have had tremendous influence on how I view life and the universe. They have been a formidable presence, true, but in a way that was such a mixture of straight-forwardness and gentleness that I imbibed values without knowing it. At the same time, I can't recall not having a choice in things that mattered to me. Looking back, I realize that all my decisions were, in fact, made by me.
After SnuggleBug came along I recently asked my mom the secret of their parenting, and her answer was one word: Integrity. She said there was no conflict in values between herself and my dad and they therefore became one solid block of parenting policies. I respect them, probably because they always respected me and my freedom to choose. Because of this, we never had confrontations, but rather, open dialog. There have never been screaming fights or power struggles, let alone any kind of violence. When I talk to friends about this I am amazed at their amazement. Apparently, I have pretty unique parents.
I hope I can carry this privilege over to my own baby. And be important to her.