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Raising Wonderful

“Seems to me it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doing to it, and all I’m saying is: see what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance. Love, baby – love. That’s the secret.” — Louis Armstrong

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
— Louis Armstrong, What a Wonderful World (Lyrics: Bob Thiele, George Douglas, George Weiss)

This morning I dropped my daughter off at the airport. She’s back to California to build her dream out there. My son headed back even sooner, working the day after Thanksgiving and doing what must be done to make the most of his career. That’s what you do with dreams: you reach for them wherever they are and with all you have.

And what of those who watch them go? We know the drill. This is what you do when you’re a parent. We raise them, love them and teach them about the world, and then let ’em fly on their own. Now and then they fly back for a few days and you see how much they’ve grown. With both of my children, I see young adults with the acumen do so much more with their chosen paths than I have with mine, and that pleases me.

I have one ace up my sleeve, of course. I was half of the team that raised two great kids. That may not seem like a lot in this complicated world, but when we reach the end of the line and we consider the best things we’ve done in our lives, shouldn’t we lead with love? The question we ought to ask ourselves daily is, am I raising hell or raising wonderful? Raising hell may sound like fun, but it leaves a big mess that someone has to clean up. Raising wonderful pays love forward. If there’s one thing this world could use more of, it’s love, don’t you think?

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