I like the quotation by Bruce Barton: "If you can give your child only one gift, let it be enthusiasm." That's it. It's like parenting 101, 102 and 103 summed up in one sentence.
The tricky part is teaching them to find their enthusiasm in places they least expect it.
When I'm dead and gone, I hope that Vi and Ave will tell stories about Dean and I and our enthusiasm, our enthusiasm as a family. I hope they look back and say "Jeez, our front yard always looked like shit but man, we had fun, didn't we?"
When people get engaged, they worry about the diamond- is it big enough? is it pure enough? is it better than so-and-so's? will I ever be able to pay it off?
Diamonds are beautiful and sparkly and nice. I have a nice little diamond wedding ring.
The true gems, though, tumbled down around us like raindrops and in so many colors.
So, Laugh. Be silly. Sing off-key. Dance. Live your life with enthusiasm. That's where you'll find joy. And that's what I want for my girls. I want them to be who they are, even if it means being off key sometimes or lots of time.
Call me silly but if you aren't going to make the most of it, why bother at all?
And we so easily fail to notice the sparking gems all around us, our ruby slippers, our sapphire-covered path, the iridescence that covers us all like diamond dust- simply because we are alive.