I am not trying to be a pessimist. Let's face it, 2016 was a tough year - we experienced the deaths of many well-knowns and also experienced the ugliest and costliest election in our nation's history. The uncertainty that lies ahead frightens me - not only as an American, but also as a parent and an educator.
As the clock ticked to 12:00 am January 1 and we greeted each other with "Happy New Year," were we really speaking the truth? Will this be a happy year? Why do we have to wait until a new year to begin in order to start eating better, spend more responsibly, exercise more, treat each other better?
Along these lines, I was reflecting about my "wants" for my own children. I just had the opportunity and privilege to spend a week with them in Nuevo Vallarta. Not having them every day in my life (physically) has been one of the greatest challenges I've experienced as an adult. I was looking at my oldest daughter, almost 19 and a second year at UC Santa Cruz and I thought, "What do I really want for Madi?" It's pretty simple (and my commentary in ( ) :
- I want her to be happy (she appears to be)
- I want her to be independent (she appears to be)
- I want her to be confident (she is confident most of the time)
- I want her to be educated (she values education and is very earnest)
- I want her to treat others as she wishes to be treated (the golden rule!)
- I want her to appreciate the opportunities she has (she is always thankful)
- I want her to have the confidence to express herself and stand up for her beliefs (so far, so good)
- I want her to choose a career that inspires her and keeps her happy - it's not about the money, it's about fulfillment.
I'm sure this list will grow.... above all, I want my children to know how much they are loved and supported despite any challenges ahead, differences we may experience. Life is short....let's enjoy it. Happy New Year.