I'm sitting at home on my vacation thinking, ok this kid is going to be here pretty soon. It is pretty hard to grasp the fact that Michael and I are going to be actual parents. In charge of someone elses life...someone elses happiness. It made me sit back and think, what type of a parent do I think I am going to be? A lot of times people will respond with, well you know what I am not going to do. I promise you I will not do this. My parents did this and it was awful.
Well I have decided that I am going to do the opposite. This is what I will do, and it is because of my parents.
1. You will be my number one priority. I remember growing up thinking, why don't my parents hang out with friends? Why don't they ever want to hang out with my friends parents? Granted they did have friends, but social outings without their kids was very limited. It took me until I hit college to realize why. They had no time. They had four kids for goodness sakes. Four active kids. All four of us were heavily involved in sports and I rarely remember a time that I looked over at the sidelines and at least one of them wasn't there. And if they weren't there it was because they were at my brother or sisters game. That was the only excuse. Ever. Same went for every school recital, band concert, etc. They put me first. They could have easily said, ok kids, only one sport- we just can't handle the driving around, the pick ups, the drops offs, the weekends of doing nothing but watching our kids play sports...but nope, they encouraged us to play sports year round. Soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, soccer again in the spring, baseball in the summer, oh yeah and lets not forget volleyball. OH wait, you want me to coach too, sure, why not.
2. You will play sports. Or at least try. I will force you to try a sport. I will force you to try for a year, or more. Is it because I want to be a soccer mom? NO. It is because I believe sports made me a lot of who I am. Sports made me active. Sports made me social. It is like my mom was dropping me off for a play date every time I had soccer practice. I truly believe sports is why I didn't drink in high school, or even touch drugs. Sports taught me to be competitive. Sports taught me how to lose gracefully-still working on that one. But again, most importantly, sports taught me how to make friends.
3. On your birthday- I will do everything I can to make you feel like the world revolves around you. This is where your Dad and I may or may not disagree. When I was growing up, Birthdays were HUGE in the Marx household. Again, I don't know if it was because their were four of us and we were all craving as much attention as possible, but my parents always did it up big. I will wake up in some special way. Whether it be you are trapped in your room by wrapping paper, or your room filled with balloons, you will wake up with a bang :) (and granted it may not be until you are old enough to appreciate it.) I will be the mom that embarasses you by delivering a balloon bouquet to school so you have to walk the halls with them. I will bake you or buy you whatever cake you choose, even if I hate it. (to this day my mom goes out of her way to buy me a special cake. A white cake with ice cream cones on the four corners. She made the mistake of buying it once...the store that made it has since shut down, but even for my thirtieth she made it a point to have it special ordered. The worst part, I am the only kid who she doesn't bake a cake for, so I know it kills her. She does it though.) We will go out for a birthday dinner, and you will always pick the restaurant, no matter how much we hate it. If you have brothers and sisters, they will be nice to you...all day. I will see to it. And I will do this until I no longer can. I don't care if you are 40.
4. I will let you get a dog. You are going to have to beg your dad, but I will make it happen.
5. I will mess with you on Christmas. I will always make you think that whatever present is the present you are just dying to have- you will not get. I will tell you it is too expensive. I will tell you it is just not practical. And if we do get it for you, I will make you wait for it. It will be either the last gift that magically appears under the tree...or hey it may not show up until you go to bed that night. My parents messed with me hardcore. What Kate, we didn't get you a dog. We just got you these dog toys, because it was the closest you were ever going to get to a dog. 12 hours later, a dog was "left" at my house- for me to keep. Oh you wanted a bike...no way. As we were saying goodbye to relatives, what showed up in the garage- a brand new bike. OH your sister wanted a waterbed? Lets wait until she throws a pure temper tantrum hissy fit about how nobody loves her, and then let her open her gift of a waterbed. Trust me, it was one of the times my parents nicely taught me how big of a spoiled brat I was :)
6. We will travel. We are going to take road trips. Some of my favorite vacation memories are crammed into the minivan with my brother and sisters, while my Dad blared John Denver. We sang at the top of our lungs. I would do anything to be able to do that again.
7. You will be raised listening to Justin Bieber. Their is nothing I love more than hearing a certain song and having memories. If you play John Denver or the Carpenters I will always think of my mom and dad. Always. So when my kid hears Justin Bieber I want them to automatically think...Mom. And smile.
I am sure this list could go on and on forever...and my parents have definitely taught me so much more- but these are the things that really stand out for me! Good things.