The most precious gift we can give to our children
LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - August 18, 2019 - 12:00am

The other day a relative dropped by at my house on her way to their class reunion. She was with her husband and their two children. In the midst of our conversation, she told her children who are in their teens, that she was thankful that God gave her the opportunity to live in my house while she was studying in a university.

She saw how I raised my five children. She said, “Auntie I was a witness how you were such a hands-on mom to your children while they were growing up. I also could not forget how you took care of other children who took shelter in this house – children who belonged to broken homes. Your house was full of merriment and laughter. You had a ‘big’ family. It was such a memorable experience for me. What I had gained from you as a mother, I also applied it in raising my own children. Thank you, Auntie, for that opportunity.”

I smiled and felt humbled by what she said.  At least in this lifetime I have touched her life and that is one legacy that I could leave to the world.

In this rat-race of life, both mother and father often have to work to meet both ends meet. Because of this demanding world, some parents are more prone to give their children material things, not realizing that in the eyes of a child, love is spelled “T-I-M-E.”  Mark Twain said, “We are always busy for our children. We don’t give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish them with gifts, but the most precious gift is our personal association with them which we give grudgingly.”

My five children are all grown up and have families of their own. In my moment of solitude, there are times that I’d back, and wonderful memories would fill my mind. Mixed emotions would seize my heart and at the same time I feel thankful that I was there when they needed me. I had given them the best performance of my life. I never wasted the “seeds” that God had entrusted to me. I have no regrets about the past. I spent quality and quantity time with my children.

It is sad to note that there are parents who missed the opportunity to see their children grow. As the saying goes, “Time wasted is time lost.” We can never bring back the hands of time. Time is like water in the river that you cannot touch twice. The water goes on with the flow. Our children are here today, tomorrow they will be gone. They will leave their “mother’s nest,” to find their niche under the sun.

Writer Lee Ann Roberts reveals, “As a proud mother of two children, I already see them growing too quickly before my eyes. It makes me wonder if I am the best parent that I can be, and if I will have regrets after they have grown up of what I did and what I didn’t do. I ask myself, ‘What is the best gift that I could give to my children?’ ...Our time is the single most important gift we could give to our children.”

In parenting, author Harold J. Sala believes that there should be a balancing act to do to obtain good results. His advice: “The wise parent has to balance love and discipline. You can discipline a child without love, but you cannot love a child without discipline. Discipline is one way of saying, ‘I love you too much to let you get away with this (like, talking back to me; throwing your food all over the table; sticking your tongue out at the teacher).’ ”


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