My family is by no means perfect. We have weathered some pretty horrific storms. Yet, my children report as being "happy." I am so glad for them because they know my belief about happiness and how it is obtained. I apporeciate the effort they have put into their lives that allows them to view themselves as, "happy."
My only Sonny turned 21 years old on the 19th of April. I look at him and marvel at the growth process and how boys grow into men. He is fortunate to have a mother who fully understod her role as mother and knew she would only be able to be an example of the female perspective.
My husband was a great role model for maleness good or bad, right or wrong. His early influence benefitted my son greatly, more than my son can appreciate at this age. As he grows into his manhood, he will begin to understand more clearly the benefit of the effort his father put into his life.
One of the greatest thing we did for our children is to have high expectations of them. We've made them feel they can do most anything they truly put their minds to. Of course they have chosen their paths, or so they believe.
My 15 year old daughter wants so badly to be an underachiever. She lacked a will to thrive when she was born. They had to literally beat her chest to make her breathe when she was born. I didn't know they could hit a baby so hard and it could still live, but she did. She wasn't ready to come out. She wants so desperately to "hate" her dad. She needs someone to blame when she doesn't want to do what she should, or needs to be doing. He always pushes her and tries to get her to appreciate her gifts.
Our family is what it is. We really couldn't ask for too much more. Our kids are basically healthy, good citizens, and hardworkers. They continue to need our guidance, but also strive for independance which is such a blessing.