I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
The impact of this news was chilling to my husband and my four-year-old son Seth. I now view life significantly differently. Every moment is valued. I am creating every opportunity to spend time with the two most important men in my life.
There are a few lessons that I want my son to hold dear to his heart:
1. I want him to learn the importance of respect for humanity.
I want him to learn to love deeply and to have an appreciation for the beauty of mother nature. Respect is critical in every aspect of life. His father demonstrates respect for everyone he meets. He strikes up a conversation with most anyone. I am pleased that my son has such a positive role model. We learn respect from interacting with our parents early on and watching those around us. I want my son to grow up with an appreciation for people and to care about them.
2. I want him to grow up being in touch with his feelings.
To not be afraid of the word “love”. I want the stigma of men not showing or telling their children they love them to end. At his young age, he has always been very emotionally expressive. Seth knows he is loved and he tells us he loves us consistently. I want this to stay with him. I want him to value humanity in general and learn to love deeply.
I have a magnet on our refrigerator that shows different emotions. It has a small square block that you put on the specific emotion you are feeling. We used it when Seth was younger for him to learn to talk about his feelings and to help express himself during particularly frustrating moments. Now, he willingly selects an emotion and talks about why he feels a certain way. It has been a powerful tool for him to know it’s okay to feel many different emotions and how to express them safely.
3. I want Seth to love the outdoors and the beauty of nature.
Most children naturally love being outside and exploring their surroundings. It seems that our society is quickly moving to a connected and social world. Children are not always encouraged to play outside like the days of past. As adults, we must encourage the curiosity of nature to continue. The outdoors brings a sense of wonder and appreciation for simple things like creativity, playing outside independently, being entertained with creatures in the dirt, and the phenomenon of the change in temperatures and seasons.
These may seem simple, but a young man who embodies these traits will grow up confident, resilient, and passionate about living a great life!
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