Look For the Red Thread!
Jory Fisher: Hey everybody, this is Jory Fisher with JoryFisher.com and I’ve been asked to give a little bit of advice about parenting — I guess given that I have three daughters, three stepdaughters, and a stepson, and they are now all between the ages of [oh my goodness] 22 and 31. Our last son, my stepson, just graduated from DePauw University in May. They are all doing incredibly well. So perhaps I have a little bit to say. Keep in mind that all of our children have other parents involved as well, and I’m just one of several people who have influenced them; but it has been an honor. This is my toy poodle, Bambino. I have three dogs, and they are always with me whenever I’m recording. Often you don’t see them because they are at my feet. Today, you get to see scruffy little Bambino Amore.
Anyway, it occurred to me that it might be helpful if I were to ask my daughters what they think I did well and not so well. (Thankfully, I just got the “well” back, so that’s good.) I’m just going to start off by sharing a little bit of what Jana (who is one of my twins; she’s 23) what she said and Rebecca who is my oldest daughter (she is almost 27), what she said, and the big thing is that I did not micromanage them. They really appreciated that and they appreciate that. I encouraged them to do what they enjoy doing. I really have this red thread theory that I learned about (actually, it’s not my theory, but I learned about it before I had children) — that if you think of a tapestry and you think of the back of the tapestry, all of the different threads that make up the tapestry, look for that red thread. Look for it in any child: what is it that is especially exciting, especially easy perhaps for that child, and encourage that. It’s nice that my daughters appreciate that.
Another thing that Jana and Rebecca said is that they appreciate that I didn’t just throw a bunch of things at them, the latest greatest things for free; that instead, they did have to pull their own weight; they did have to work and do chores, get jobs, and apparently, that has served them quite well.
I don’t mean to seem the least bit self-serving. I’m actually very touched by this and it might be difficult for me to get through it without crying; but Jana’s twin sister, my daughter, Brett Beeson, who is a naval officer and I haven’t been able to see her for a while because she’s stationed in Japan, surprised me immensely by posting a beautiful Mother’s Day tribute on my Facebook page. I’m not going to read you the whole thing. I printed it out. It’s two pages. You don’t want that, but I’m going to share with you a few paragraphs of what she said because I think it might give you some insight into what perhaps might be helpful as you help raise your children. Again, this is Brett Beeson and part of which she wrote to me as a tribute on Mother’s Day 2015.
Mom, you’re always with me in each of my days. Who shaped me to believe in God, who taught me to look for the beauty in the ordinary, who taught me to laugh, always laugh, to poke fun, to question, to tease mercilessly those whom I love best, who taught me to never ever fear the unknown, the “other,” but instead have patience for his story, to listen to his voice, who encouraged my early wandering ways: “Yes, Phil,” [that’s her dad] “why shouldn’t our 16-year-old daughter travel across the country by herself?”
You are always such a joyful presence in our childhood. You never yelled though your guilt trips worked wonders — a vivid tribute to your ability to instill a conscience, no doubt. You are fair because you always took my side. You took the time from a single professional life to establish Burger King Breakfast traditions, to visit lunchrooms, to sit “boredly” through mandatory PTA meetings. (Yes, Mother, I gained that low tolerance for the mundane from you as well.) You encouraged/forced me from my comfort zones into Young Marines and karate, and in so doing, shaped my latent character into one of honor, of discipline.
Mother, be it conscious or no, spoken or no, written or no, you are always with me and I can only hope and pray that I will live a life worthy of that trust, that tradition, that love. It is Mother’s Day, Mother, so I know you will be sad because we aren’t all there, but I tell you to rejoice. Rejoice, be glad, and make merry because even if my impish grin and floppy curls are far, far away, I am with you and you most certainly are always with me.
That was Brett Beeson, an officer in the United States Navy, and this is Bambino panting.
I would just encourage you to look for that red thread in each of your children’s life, to raise them up hopefully to believe in God and know that there’s a plan for their life and that you are simply here to help them discover their purpose and fulfill their calling.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to share a little bit with you and for enjoying my toy poodle Bambino. God bless you.
Flickr photo by Quinn Dombrowski
About Jory Fisher
Jory specializes in helping purpose-guided leaders and entrepreneurs create successful lives, businesses, and ministries. A former attorney, law professor, and associate dean, Jory has served as a professional coach and mentor since August 2008. She’s also a faculty member of the Professional Christian Coaching Institute and a Top 6 Expert for service-based solopreneurs. Listen to Heart & Soul for Women of Faith and enjoy all of her valuable resources at www.JoryFisher.com.
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