Monday, January 12, 2015

The Hardest Thing

I guess it's been about... oh, I donno, 2 years since I've blogged... so I figured I should start again.  So here is the thing... life's been pretty hard lately.  I mean, the two adoptions, leaving my job, moving the family to China and starting to server at a foster home to help care for special needs children...

But this post... this post I would like to talk about "the hardest thing".  I mean, the absolute hardest thing I've had to deal with.

It's not the language,  Chinese has been fun to learn.
It's not the intestine on a stick for diner.
It's not the family of 7 living in a small(ish) Chinese apartment.
It's not the "caterpillars" the wife ate.
It's not even missing my beloved Tim Hortons coffee.

We've been surrounded by great friends...
The children are doing great and growing...

It's not hard to take care of these cutnesses!  Photo from New Day South Facebook page.
No no... the worst, most very hardest thing so far... is the fact that I've run out of moral high ground to tell my children what to do!

What am I going to say when they are making bad life choices?!

"Son, stay in school... because one day, you're going to want a good paying job... that... you can... quit... and live off the charity of others... while living in a foreign country".

Or, "Son, you can't just pick up and move your family to a foreign country where you can't speak the lanaguage and don't know anyone!  That's just poor decision making..."

I mean, I'd already lost the whole "You're too young to get married" and the "You're too young to have children" arguments.  My girls love reminding me that we were 19 and 20 when we got married, and they don't understand why they have to wait until they are 33 before they can start to date...

But I'm outta any sage advice!  I'm an unemployed father of 5 living in a foreign country where we can't even communicate with people!  I'm a modern day Gypsy!  Hopefully, with better hygene... but that's debatable.

It's like, go get a real job... But Dad, you don't have a job.
Don't get married so young!  But you and Mom did.
Don't eat the yellow snow!  Ok... that I can still use.

What do I have left as a father to pass onto my children?!  Other than, "don't do what I did."  I have no wisdom to pass onto my children...

... except maybe... love, even when it doesn't make sense.
Serve, even when it isn't convient.
Money can't buy happiness, but happiness may cost you much.
The world may call you crazy, and they maybe right... but I'd rather be crazy doing something beautiful.

I love this quote from Mother Teressa:
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.
- Mother Teressa

In the end, I may not have the best advice to pass onto my children... but I hope they see a life dependant on God, full of Love and a willingness to serve others...

... and I hope they remember that... when I'm old... and broke... and need a place to live.


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  2. Perhaps, the fear of “unknown” is the greatest fear I may had when my (you too) kids were - where yours are now. And I may want to qualify what I mean under “unknown”.
    I felt very un-qualified to bring up four of you but I believed that what I was doing is what I am supposed to be doing. The Faith and peace inside me was sufficient for all of us. Kids need to “see” the confidence inside their parents that gives them silent witness that “all is or will be OK”

    Your Dad.

  3. Whoa, hang on a sec... whaddayamean, you've run out of moral high ground? You're not talking about morals, sir. Those are not about choices on where to live but on HOW to live. Those are not choices of who you're with, but of HOW your treat those you are with. Those are not choices of what you do for a living, but of HOW what you do makes the world a better place. How your genome is expressed (or what it contains), which socio-economic stratum or nation you call your own, which name(s) you call your God, which languages you communicate with... all that's the "little stuff" that each individual eventually ends up (at some time in their life) finding are both identical to and worlds different from those of their parents and peers... But those not-so-invisible guidelines that determine how we treat our fellow travelers on this tiny cosmic rock we call home (and, come to think of it, how we treat this tiny cosmic rock itself)... NOW you're talking about morals, and high ground, and the guidance that children get from their parents even when their parents think they're not teaching anything. You're teaching and guiding your kids every time you're honest even if it hurts, every time you treat a stranger with the kindness & respect you can only hope will be reciprocated, every time you apologize for things not working out the way you hoped even when they're outside your control. That high ground isn't missing -- just look down, it's there beneath your feet. Your kids will (as they grow & age) come to understand what they may not fully grok now, just keep teaching them to be the kind of people that Do Good Things and stuff like how they earn a living, who they're friends with, etc. etc. etc. will all stay in its rightful place lower down on the ladder.

  4. You guys are doing an amazing job! So glad I found your blog again. Hope all is well with you.