Do you ever look at your children and wonder what they'll be doing in five years? Ten years? Twenty years? Where you'll be then?
I was watching my sweet three-year-old daughter play with her dolls the other day. She is very obsessed with princesses, as many little girls are. She loves things that are pink and things that are pretty. She loves twirling and dancing and singing (she even tries to put vibrato in her voice). I started wondering what her interests will be when she's eight. I started wondering what she will look like when she's a teenager. Whom will she be friends with? What will her interests be? Will she still like singing and dancing? Whom will she want to date? Will I have taught her about virtue and modesty well enough?
Then I started thinking about my other kids. When my daughter is sixteen, my oldest child will be twenty. He should be on his mission. Will he be on a mission? My second son will be nineteen and should also be on a mission. Will that be what he's doing? How well will I have taught them the gospel? My third son will be seventeen. Will he and my daughter still be buddies, like they are now? Will they watch out for each other at school? Will they hang with some of the same friends, like my brother and I did in high school?
It's these moments when I reflect on how well I am a living example of what I want to teach them. Do I study my scriptures enough? Do my children see me living the gospel the way I want them to live it? How am I doing?
Sometimes, I'm not sure that I'm doing what I should be. And, of course, there are no guarantees. And sometimes I worry that they will go astray during that time. I get saddened by the thought that their young, innocent days of childhood are too short and soon they will be teenagers and young adults and making their own choices. I certainly hope that I will do all that I can to teach them to make good choices. And that they will do just that.