I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wanting More for the Next Generation

Read this beautiful post over at Everyday Stranger this morning about what it feels like to grow old and how it doesn’t meet with our expectations. Shannon’s post made me think.

When we’re 18, we have ideals and independence and confidence coursing through our veins. We’re going to do things differently than our parents and the rest of the adults we know. We’re going to be kinder, gentler, bolder, more engaged, more concerned, more determined, and less judgmental. We’re going to listen better and scream less often. We’re going to change the world.

What we can’t possibly know at the time is that most of the adults we were quick to condemn internally have been hoping for the same outcomes for us all along—even if they never say so, even if they have been crappy role models.

I’ll probably never have children, but I have two nieces—one is nineteen and the other is four. I love them both dearly.

I suspect the nineteen-year-old already sees me as a curmudgeon, but underneath all of the crustiness, I want her to know that I want more for her. I want her to be a better person than I am—to be wiser, more consistent, kinder, more understanding, and more godly than I am. I also hope she’s able to attain all of her major life goals. And yeah, I’m hoping she’ll be happy too, but happiness is overrated in my opinion because it’s fleeting. 

My four-year-old niece doesn’t see me as anything other than a person to climb on right now, and I love that. She’s 400 miles away from me, so I’m just thrilled that we’re to the point in which she’s comfortable enough to want to climb on me. But, when she’s 18, I’ll be 56, so, by then I’ll be beyond curmudgeon status in her mind. I’ll still want all of the same things for her that I want for my other niece.

Wanting more for the next generation is part of the aging process. As a 42-year-old, I know how it feels to fall short, to lose dreams, to lose confidence, to lose perspective, to give up too quickly, or to hang on too long. But I also know what redemption feels like. So, as my nieces experience real life in the coming years, I’ll be rooting them on through their mistakes and losses in the hope that their mistakes and losses aren’t as debilitating as mine have been to me.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...