Yup…those are mine.
June 4, 1996. Sarah Elizabeth Hochman got welcomed into the world. By lots of people, including her big sister, Jillian.
I got reintroduced to this picture today when Jill put it out on her Instagram account…
Which of course then traveled to her Facebook page…
Which she recently let me in as her friend.
(Not Sarah. It’s probably best I don’t know what my almost 17 year old kid is doing.)
And the whole flood of memories came back. That moment Sarah was born. Excited, but a certain amount of knowing what to expect, having done this with Jill three years before. I grabbed the kid and did that first diaper change like it was nothing.
What I remember just as clearly was meeting Jill out in the hallway, after she spent the night with Diane’s parents.
It was really important to me she felt just as loved and cared for as before her sister was born.
So after her first meeting with Sarah (in which, magically Sarah had a present waiting for her in the room) Jill and I went down to the hospital cafeteria and enjoyed her favorite meal: french fries and Sprite.
And then later, we spent some more time bonding as a family: mother, father, two girls. And kept it going through a bunch of twists and turns, so that 16 or so years later we got this…
We love our kids. I do. Diane does. And they love us.
And if you have kids, you love yours. Of course you do.
And you’d do anything for them. Right?
And while we’re on the topic, you wouldn’t do anything for your husband, your wife, your parents, your boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.
Because if you would, you’d already be rich enough to take care of them, plus their kids, their grandkids and so on.
It makes me laugh when I hear someone say, “I’d do anything for my kids.”
And just a little sad, because at some point they have to come back and face certain realities…
They’re in debt.
They don’t have enough saved for college.
They spend 60 to 70 hours a week working or traveling to and from work.
They didn’t figure out how to make it work with the other parent, and got divorced.
You get the idea.
It doesn’t mean we don’t love our kids. Of course we do.
And just about anyone would gladly give up our lives for our kids, if it were to come to that.
But to be rich, happy, healthy, abundant, and teach that skill to our kids…that’s another story.
We don’t do anything and everything for our kids.
We do what we see ourselves as capable of doing.
And we do things that cause the most amount of pleasure, or sometimes the least amount of pain.
So if we think we’ll try and fail at something, and have to look our family in the eye, we probably won’t do it.
Because no one wants to look small in the eyes of their own kids.
We do what we do in order to keep the balance in our own lives, so we can keep on living.
Not because we want to do something “heroic” for our families.
And that’s perfectly fine. But I don’t think it’s cool to live under the delusion of saying, “I gave it everything I had for my kids.”
Unless you do.
If your kids are going to have extraordinary lives, it starts with YOU.
YOU have to go out and do things that take you out of your comfort zone.
YOU have to be willing to see yourself bigger than you are now, and to see yourself bigger than your own parents saw themselves.
YOU have to treat yourself with more respect, so you can train others to do the same.
YOU have to learn to speak words that elevate others, not diminish them.
YOU have to be willing to separate yourself from the crowd that locks you into the lifestyle you have now.
YOU have to go to the edge, knowing your kids are watching what you do, not listening to the words you say.
I respect every parent who gets up in the morning and is there for his or her kids, even if they don’t live in the same household.
And I respect every step-parent who fills that role when the natural parent isn’t there, for whatever reason.
But if you want to show your kids how to lead an extraordinary life…to get the best this world has to offer…
YOU gotta be it!
You aren’t responsible for who your kids become.
But you set the example when they’re young.
And no matter how old they are, they’re watching you…now.
HOW TO RECEIVE. It’s made people better parents, better business builders, better lovers, happier people.