I do not have any kids, but I do have a general sense of the job description of a parent. Among other things, a parent must have the following:
- hands that act as a thermometers
- eyes in the back of their heads
- an uncanny ability to embarrass their teenager
A parent needs to prepare their kids for the real world — not by pretending it will be free of rainstorms, but by giving them an umbrella and helping them find the rainbow.
The other night I met a mom who deserves parent of the year nomination.
Her 4-year-old daughter, Marie, was in the hospital, undergoing an intense form of cancer treatment. Marie and I were playing a board game when she noticed a couple of scars on my hand.
What are those from? she asked.
I replied that they were from playing basketball. She said,
I’m sorry, that must have hurt. I have a scar on my head. It looks like a princess crown.”
In one sentence, the little girl expressed compassion, awareness and a positive attitude. She felt bad that I had scars — even if they were only the size of peanuts. She was fully aware of why she was in the hospital — and that cancer made her different. That being said, she had an amazing ability to see her scars not as something scary, but as something that made her a princess.
I would bet everything I own that she has her mother to thank for those qualities. I don’t know her mom at all, but I would imagine that she told her daughter the importance of caring for others, why she had scars and how she can turn them into something not-so-scary.
To turn this into a Harry Potter analogy, rather than trying to Voldemort the cancer (turning it into something that shall not be named), Marie’s mom helped me see her daughter’s scars as a sign of a mothers love.
That is some awesome parenting.