Monday was my anniversary. Five years married, now with two kids. I sat the whole day in a conference in a different city away from my family, away from my partner.
This separation on such a significant date creates the opportunity to reflect on the impact of our relationship on our children. This is probably one of the most powerful things I give my children, and thus it is one of the scariest. I am modeling how to work in partnership with another person.
So many of my parenting responses initally come from what was modeled for me, and I have had to analyze those to see if they are what I want to be doing or if I have to do some work to overwrite my imprinting to create new responses. That sounds easy, but it has been hard. There are many responses that I love, but there are some deeply rooted ones that I am still working on to change and make mine.
I already see the reflections of these responses in my children. The ones I like and am proud of are fun to see, and the others serve as an uncompromising mirror to me with the added gut punch that the more I do these things, the more they will be ingrained in my own children for them to work through when they are adults.
The absolute best tool in this work is my wife. She has amazing patience with me, insight into how to work on these issues, and awesome communication skills to get the work done.