Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The perfect child

I sat near a young mother recently. Though I didn’t mean to, I found myself listening to her conversation. Clearly delighted by her child, she extolled his brilliance and charm. At the risk of bragging, she admitted her son was well beyond all his peers. He may even have leaped a tall building in a single bound, though I am not positive she said that. I am certain in the ensuing weeks he’s learned twelve languages. Or more.

I couldn’t help but smile at the little cherub nearby who sat blissfully unaware of his great prowess. That mother’s delight in her child made me smile too. I hope he is every bit as brilliant she thinks. I hope he can perform magical feats. One day he may hold our collective futures in his hands. I'd be foolish to hope otherwise. 

I have a favor to ask of you, mother of the perfect child.

I ask you instill in your child a compassionate heart as well as an open and inquisitive mind. Teach him  to be patient and kind and to fearlessly pursue all that is right. Bless him with acceptance of all people regardless of origin and ability. Show him how to appreciate their achievements no matter how small. Help him develop an eye for beauty in even the smallest of things. Stress the importance of giving back as much as he takes. Share with him the value of a smile.

Teach him to treasure each living creature and to value every life. Let him know it is ok to make a mistake and honorable to admit and learn from it. Help him to understand he won’t become more by making another less. Teach him to resist judging what he doesn’t understand and perhaps even what he does. Let him know he is no better – or worse – than anyone else.

Teach him to use his gifts wisely. Whether his accomplishments are grand or small, provide him with the tools to leave our world a better place. A place where your son and my son might one day peacefully co-exist. Maybe even be friends. You can show him the way, mother of the perfect child. I know you can. You can help him make the world a better place. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
Sam's mom



  1. Only twelve languages?
    That's kinda lame.

    Seriously, I had to write down my "hopes and dreams" for Peter for his second grade classroom wall. I wrote something about finding some good stories (i.e. reading) and playing with friends (always important in life), and then I added, "make the world a better place." I was worried that was too much to ask my little 7 year old but now I see, I was right on track.
    Thank you for this fantastic parenting advice, Janet!

  2. Well, by now maybe 14 languages. :D

    I think "leave the world a better place" is a wonderful goal. I remember my father telling me from as early as I can remember, "you have to give back."