What Is Your Greatest Hope For Your Children?


I was asked, on a questionnaire, about my greatest hope for my children. I filled in the space, thinking the whole time that this question was a waste of time. What is my greatest hope for them? “That they are happy,” I say, in a smarmy voice, mocking the question. “That they are healthy,” I offer, in the same voice. What is my greatest hope for them? I don’t know. I don’t have a greatest hope for them.

I do have many, many everyday sorts of hopes for them. I hope they don’t smoke. I hope they don’t hurt themselves with drugs, or alcohol. I hope they navigate cruel relationships with resilience. I hope they fail well. I hope they love more things than they hate. I hope they think well of me when they are older. I hope they respect me while they are younger. I hope they respect their bodies; I hope they don’t get vain in their teens. I hope they aren’t cruel. I hope they are loved. I hope they are interesting. I hope they are confident. I hope they are resilient.

I hope if one of them does something remarkable that the other will do some remarking. I hope if one of them does something amazing that the other will be amazed. I hope they love each other for the rest of their lives.

I hope they visit on weekends, in summers, at Christmas and for our birthdays. I hope they love to travel.

I hope they earn their lives before spending them.

These are my hopes. Not one is my greatest hope. I’m always hoping.

11 thoughts on “What Is Your Greatest Hope For Your Children?”

  1. Totally on-board with never-ending little hopes. They add up to something that’s much harder to express, and perhaps can’t be expressed without dumbing it down far, far too much.

  2. Very well said. I’ll be sharing this one and also saving it for future reading.

  3. Shawn, this is so good. You put it just right – all the hopes… surely all the small ones add up to a life worth living.

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