My parents didn’t have to say it, but I know what they wanted for me. I know what they wanted for my brother. I know what they wanted for my sister. I know because it’s what I now want for my daughters…
I want them to recognize them. I want them to cautiously seek them. I want them to pray for guidance and walk through them. And when they find that it was the wrong one to choose, I want them to learn from it, yet never hesitate to find another.
It’s funny, we tell our kids that we only want them to be happy, but that’s not really true is it? What if my daughter thinks that happiness will come with a guy who believes in little, stands for nothing, and would never sacrifice for her? What if, in her pursuit of happiness, she gives up a talent because a voice told her that it wouldn’t take her anywhere? What if someone convinces her that doorways are to be avoided because you never know what’s on the other side? I didn’t grasp this when I was young. I passed by a lot of doorways. I want better for my girls. I want them to understand exactly who they are. I want them to confidently walk the good walk—doorways and all.
My wife and I were thrilled the other day when one of our girls called her “overprotective.” This is a triumph. We actually gave each other a high five. At age 11, my daughters already recognize that their mom and dad are all over them. We know that what they call “overprotective” is really just “protective.” There is no force field we can buy to protect them from the world’s evil. Apple hasn’t invented that yet. Until they do, they have us. Our number one job is to get this right.
As I get older, I see that my parents wanted me to find doorways, avoid the ones that were not in my best interest, and learn from my mistakes. Most importantly, I always knew that that no matter what was behind that door, they were behind me. It’s still true today.
Now I’m leading my own daughters from a magical world of childhood fantasy to a world of endless doorways of discovery and possibility. Eventually, I’ll walk along side them. Finally I’ll let them lead.
I won’t be far behind.
Life is to be lived—doorways and all.
The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.
~ E.B. White