Leaving a Positive Legacy

Today as I dropped off my son to school, he reminded me that I volunteered for his classroom to help make drums and celebrate in a pizza party.  I had completely forgotten amongst the craziness of my schedule and he looked at me, I think waiting for me to say I wouldn't be able to make it because I had not put it on my schedule, but truth is that work is very busy and there just isn't time in the day for me to function much outside of all my commitments.  I run a very tight schedule in order to be the "perfect" parent.  I set aside time for him so that he doesn't feel I ignore him in order to work.  Sometimes I get placed "in check" with the fact that parenting isn't scheduled and "perfect" parenting is a lie that is so easily believed.  I am quick to forget as a single parent that I cannot give an itinerary to every day.  Things just happen and in this instance as I pondered my response, I chose to listen to that spiritual voice in my head that said, "THIS is what your son will remember! Either that you were too busy OR you thought this was important above all else."  I get to take 3 hours and be with my son doing something for him and with him but most of all, he will remember that he is a priority in my life.

When I think about leaving a legacy behind to my son or to those around me, the feeling is daunting for sure.  Thoughts circle around in my head of self doubt, ability or relevance.  I'm a single mother and work very hard each day to ensure that one day my son can say that he grew up in a godly home with food on the table and clothes on his back.  My ultimate goal is that he develops his own amazing testimony for Christ.  How then can I leave him a legacy? Is my legacy determined by how he lives his life? Is my legacy the memories that he has of his childhood and my guidance? The word, legacy, can be loaded and almost scary.  If you think about it long enough you'll agree that there are good legacies and bad legacies.  Adolf Hitler left a legacy, a very negative one.  Dr. James Dobson is leaving his legacy, a very good one.  Each of us is an imprint into the history books, some more deep than others.  When it comes to your family and especially your children, however the large footprints are left by you, the parent. Sure, people like Dr. James Dobson will leave an imprint into my son's life from a result of my choice to take the good sound advice he has given me, but the largest imprint into my son's life will be from his parents.

My question to myself daily is, "How are my actions going to be viewed when my son is raised and my legacy is all that remains?" This question is a driving force behind my desire to be a good mom.  We all make mistakes, and I don't mean that we have to be perfect.  Our children are going to remember the environment they grew up in.  Will it have been angry, scary, unsafe, and unloving or will it have been confident, safe, secure and loving? How will the words I have spoken or the time I have spent reflect on the person I was or the parent I chose to be?

Legacy doesn't have to be so scary after all.  Just simply making the best decision at the time will slowly but surely show the legacy that our children will remember.