mother and daughterIf you found out that this was your last day on Earth, what would you want to leave with your children? What life lessons should they know? What strengths of character would you instill? Who could you trust to fulfill your parenting plans in your absence? Who could help mother your child if you died?

I just read the story of the Council of Dads. It’s a story about a man, Bruce Feiler, who is diagnosed with cancer, and finds himself faced with the question, “Who will be the father to my daughters if I die?”

The very act of becoming a parent makes us painfully aware that if we die, we leave behind the best part of us. The article about Feiler and his proactive response to his diagnosis have made me realize that I need to think more about which lessons that I want my daughters to learn in this life and who I think I could entrust to teach those lessons to my girls with the same fervor that I would.

The life lessons that I would most want my daughters to learn.

  1. Living life like a failure is not an option and know that everything is possible through hard work and determination.
  2. Love like you have never been hurt. Everyone is different; do not punish a new love for a past love’s transgressions. Your jaded heart may cause you to miss out on a wonderful encounter.
  3. Family is the most important thing in life. Your sister is your best friend. Your father will always love you no matter what you do. I am always with you.
  4. Travel and see the world before you get married and then travel it again and see it with new eyes.
  5. Always try new things, and if you don’t like it the first time, try it again. This applies to foods, places, things, and people.
  6. Never accept NO for an answer if it’s something that really matters to you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and have an opinion.
  7. You are the best possible you that there will ever be; do not compare yourself to others. You can only measure your success by the standards by which you live.
  8. Be kind to the people that you meet, you never know their circumstances or who they are. The stranger you meet today could be the most important person in your life tomorrow.
  9. Have faith in yourself, in your God, and in others. Faith will carry you through when reason fails you.
  10. Be honest with others and with yourself. Trust and every relationship worth having in your life will be built on honesty.

Who I would entrust to counsel my daughters and live examples of these lessons is more difficult to determine. I would choose my sisters, because they would never let my daughters forget who I am and we have the same morals and upbringing. They would love my girls as they love me.

If you had to pick one lesson to leave with your child, what would it be? Who would you entrust to be a mother to your daughters?


Image via Ava Lowery/Flickr