This morning, I watched my child get a chest X-ray. It was simply a follow-up after a
tough cold and partial pneumonia, but as I watched him stand there in a miniature
hospital gown covered in cartoon trains, arms outstretched, face against a cold
white machine wall, bare back exposed, I could see his wide eyes and the worry in
the way his fingers were twitching ever so slightly as he held his body in exactly the
position he was directed to.
It absolutely broke my heart.
And in the less than 3 minutes it took to take the necessary X-rays, everything I’d
ever wished for my child since he was born came crashing down on me in those
10 – Wish for my child: Happiness
Seeing his anxious face staring back at me through the glass partition as he stood
beside the cold X-ray machine made me desperate to see him smile. It often doesn’t
take anything more than a hand-held, a hug or a whispered “I love you” to make a
child happy (or a chocolate chip cookie or promise of screen time – to each their
own); but when they’re happy, we’re happy. Our children’s happiness feeds our
happiness, and it’s tenfold.
What made my boy happy as a baby is not the same thing that makes him happy
now as a 7-year-old, and it won’t be the same when he’s 17, 27 or 47. But my wish
for my child is that he can always embrace what makes him happy and follow that
happiness, no matter what it is. Because I won’t always be there to hold his hand,
offer cookies or whisper I love him. And I need him to know how to make his own
9 – Wish for my child: Confidence
Teaching self-confidence is challenging. As mothers, we often struggle with our own
lack of confidence: Are we making the right choices? Are we attentive enough? Strict
enough? Smart enough? Are we being good mothers? And this lack of confidence on
our part often trickles down to our little ones without us even realizing.
And yet, we spend so much time confidence-building our little ones through endless
encouragement from those first steps to homework to getting that first job and
eventually moving out, it’s no wonder the pride we feel as they reach each
8 – Wish for my child: Kindness
There’s so much hate in the world today. So much. And I loathe that my boy is
exposed to it every single day. From news of school shootings to the cultural exclusion
and racism, it’s around us every day.
As parents, we teach hate as much as we teach kindness.
Kindness is so more important, and not just because we want our children to make
friends. A kind child is an open, understanding child, and compassionate child.
And those children grow into adults. And those adults will, in turn, raise their
children with, hopefully, the same level of kindness.
From the age my boy could speak, he has always said “please” and “thank you.” He is
the first to offer to help, and often performs random acts of kindness to complete
strangers if he feels the need. He loves to donate his toys, adores the notion that
we foster cats at home and is always so excited to help the next furry creature
instead of being sad that we are giving one away.
Kindness truly can change the world, and we need to remember that as mothers.
7 – Wish for my child: Courage
What a loaded word: Courage.
I wish for my child to have all the courage in the world to be himself no matter what
that might end up being. Teaching a child to be courageous is about more than
getting them to climb up that rock-wall or talk to a new friend at school. It’s about
more than getting them to hold a worm or try new food. Explaining courage to a
child is akin to explaining confidence: It’s about making them comfortable with
Every month, I indulge and get my nails done (moms need pampering, too!). My son
often asks to come with me. I love the company, and he loves to get his nails done,
too. I’ve never said no. Never told him, “That’s not what boys do.” He has the courage
to know that he likes it, and wants it, and I am so very proud when he picks the
colour (sometimes colours) and rocks his new brightly painted nails.
6 – Wish for my child: Strong will
Ah, the strong-willed child. We all hope for it (and secretly dread it). It means our
children have opinions, desires, they know what they like and what they don’t and
they aren’t afraid to voice it. A strong-willed child will be as uplifting as they are
infuriating – and as a mother, it’s a daunting prospect to try and parent a child with
a strong will.
And yet as mothers, we wish for our children to be as strong-willed as they possibly
can, to go for and take what they really want out of life and to back down for no one.
Not even us, when we’ve asked them to brush their teeth for the 8th time…
5 – Wish for my child: Understanding
I might sound like a broken record here for a moment, but the world we live in
seems to be devolving and becoming more and more close-minded and closed off.
We can only combat that by teaching the next generation to understand to be open-
minded, and to have an open heart. Understanding the world around them is so
important for children; but it’s about more than just understanding it’s about
embracing it all and being open.
I wish for my child that he not only understand, but truly take in everything around
him and learn to process his emotions and thoughts and be open-minded to the
thoughts and emotions of those around him, as well.
4 – Wish for my child: Drive/Ambition
Our parents wished the same thing for us: that we have a drive and enough ambition
to achieve all the success and goals we hope for growing up.
So, it’s only natural that we as mothers wish for our children the same thing; that
drive and ambition to do what they truly want to do in life. From traveling the
world to enrolling in whatever course of academia he desires, if I see my child has
the drive to do something I will not be the one to stand in his way. The pride I’ll feel
as I watch him succeed because of that drive from self-motivation will be so very
3 – Wish for my child: A Sense of Purpose
My boy may only be seven years old, but he knows he has a purpose in life already:
He is an important integral part of our family. He has a hamster he takes care of
(cleans the cage, feeds him), he has homework, and he helps with errands like
groceries and cleaning the house, even taking in the garbage bins when we get home
It’s so important to instill a sense of responsibility and purpose in our children’s
lives from as early on as we can. If not, we are raising a generation of entitled
humans who will think everything is to be done for them, and they have no
responsibility, and that in turn will make their life purposeless. A lack of purpose is
perhaps worse than a lack of sensibility. Living for something is so very meaningful,
even if that something is knowing you get to play a bit of Nintendo if you clean your
hamster’s cage and make your bed.
2 – Wish for my child: Endless Love
From the moment he was handed to me, still covered in amniotic fluid, and I looked
into those big blue eyes, the amount of love I felt for my boy seemed endless. And
truly, it is.
Over the years, I’ve often wondered if I’ve been able to properly convey the amount
of love, I feel for him every day.
When I watch him (and he thinks I’m not) or see him interact with other children, I
see my love reflected in him and his actions. And I can only hope that he continues
to feel that endless love from me and those around him, even when he no longer
lives under the same roof as me. That no matter what path he chooses in life, that he
will have those around him who love and cherish him, and who are self-assured
enough to express that love and that he’s able to do the same for them.
1 – Wish for my child: Health
I cannot for a moment begin to understand what the parents of sick children feel on
a daily basis, however, after watching my boy in the X-ray room this morning I have
a whole new respect for them and realize how very, very strong they must be.
When I was pregnant, I was often asked what I was having and if I had a preference.
My response was always the same: “I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy.” And I meant
My child’s health is so very, very important. There was a time, as a single parent, I
was living paycheck to paycheck, which meant that everything I did was for him. If I
couldn’t afford to get enough groceries for us both to eat, then he was the one who
had three healthy meals a day, no matter what.
In those three minutes while I watched my boy have x-rays taken of his chest, all of
these thoughts, emotions, and wishes for my child went rushing through me, and it
made me realize that I might not pinpoint that I’m thinking it, but I do wish these
things for my child every single day. As mothers, that’s what we do; we wish for our
children the very best in everything, even if we don’t realize we’re doing it.