Lesson #4: Advocate for Children
Princess Diana was a dedicated advocate for children. Whether at a children’s hospital, on a field of land mines, or on a walkabout, her passion was seen on her face in many photographs where she often placed a child on her lap. Princess Diana believed every child deserved a safe and happy childhood after her not-so-happy childhood, experiencing her parent’s divorce at seven. The abandonment she felt led her to deeply empathize with children who experienced trauma. Whether it was trauma from homelessness, Aids, or landmines.
As a mother, Princess Diana was hands-on. Since she knew first-hand what divorce does to a child (her), she went to great lengths to make her children feel loved and safe through her divorce from Prince Charles. She effortlessly tried to expose William and Harry to “normal” kids’ stuff, such as public schools, and wearing “commoner” clothes like jeans and t-shirts. How did the Princess do that? Spending quality time with them doing fun things such as going to amusement parks, taking vacations, and enjoying a “Happy Meal” together. It was reported on Elle.com, “She also encouraged her children to express their emotions and be open about their feelings.”
Reflecting on my advocating for children, I leaned into another direction toward education. Most of my career has been teaching or coaching students at all levels. I empathized with the underdog. The child who didn’t have a parent read books to them. Or the teenager who didn’t know how to apply to college. Or the college student who was discerning their calling in life.
As far as my mothering skills, like Princess Diana, I, too, wanted my children to have a “normal” life filled with love, security, and hope for the future. I spent endless hours planning birthday parties, shopping for the perfect selections to place into goodie bags and rejuvenating my creativity of appropriate party activities based on the party theme. That was how I loved my kids. I wonder what they remember or whether or not they cared if a lady was singing with a guitar, the bouncy house was big enough, or digging and finding dinosaur fossils in the sandbox.
The cliche of “I did the best I could” does not fit here. It seems old. Ragged. Better questions would be:
“Did I really do my best?”
“Did I do the parties for my kids?”
“Or did I do them for myself?”
“Was I subconsciously filling an unmet need?”
These are good questions to ponder this Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Written with the assistance of New Bing AI
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