To my children:
I recently saw this sign...
"I am not your friend. I am your parent. I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare, and hunt you down when necessary because I love you and when you understand that I will know you're a responsible adult. You will never find someone who loves, prays, cares, or worries about you more than me. This is my promise to you."
At first glance, I thought I might agree, but then I read on. The words that followed didn't settle. You are little and, right now, I am not your friend. On day, I hope to be and so I am making you a different promise.
I will give you the freedom to test your wings and the boundaries to keep you safe. I will enforce constructive consequences that will help you better understand the choices you make. I will listen to your fears, needs and desires. I will treat you with respect, grace, and love always remembering that you are a work in progress just like your mom. Though there will be seasons of life with more wrong than right, I will never quit trying to understand your perspective.
When you are an adult, I pray that you will see me as a friend who loved you enough to let you become the best version of you. I hope that I have helped you understand your strengths and your struggles and given you the tools to make the most of both. I want you to look back on the those times of trial and know that I made tough decisions with your best interest in mind.
I will spend the next 20 years treating you with the love and respect a friendship deserves, so that when the day comes, you will choose to be my friend.