Teacher: “Why are you late today?”
Student: “I have a very blessed and amazing life.”
Our kids were late to school today….again. I mean, they’re not late everyday. Each semester our kids are late to school anywhere from 3 – 5 times. Honestly, it may be a tiny bit more this final semester as we approach the end of the scholastic year (end of the school year…thank you, Jesus!). What can I say? The weather is awesome here in South FL and the days are getting longer, which equals more fun!
Now, anyone who knows our family and our children know that the Valdes Clan is top-notch; We do a pretty good job of staying on top of life’s balls. Our kids are gifted, honors students (like in principals honor roll) who score above average on their exams, very respectful and obedient (in public and towards anyone who is NOT mom or dad), have either mom or dad ALWAYS available, and enjoy a wide range of experiences. Mom and dad work hard to be great examples, parents, friends, and to provide. We are an average American family. However, we consider ourselves highly unconventional. Let me explain….
We aim to do our own thing. We try not to just follow the crowd for the sake of just going in the same direction as everyone else. We stick to our beliefs and values no matter how disparate it may be to current societal norms. We live everyday focused on a higher perspective, somewhat akin to positivity. Just because everyone is doing the same thing doesn’t make it right… or right for us.
Here are 6 little truths, or realities, that we try to remember everyday:
1 – Tomorrow is never guaranteed for any one of us or any one we love…. 2 hours from now is not even guaranteed! Things happen. Shit happens. That’s life. No one is immune. Mortality is the most equalizing factor in this world.
2 – The only thing we REALLY own is the skin we live in and the memories we make. We came into this world with nothing and we leave this world with nothing. Our house, car, boat, bank account, spouse, child… it can be taken away in an instant. Our grandparents fled Cuba about 50 decades ago after property, business, and all their finances were suddenly stolen from them by a corrupt government. The only thing that is truly ours is the skin we live in and the memories we make.
3 – Everything is crap and replaceable except life. This is why the only true value is in life itself.
4 – Everyone is different, unique, special, amazing, significant, etc.. Accept and respect. Live and let live.
5 – Memories, experiences, people are far more important than material possessions. There will come a day where we must all face our final moments. What will we be most thankful for in those moments? What will we regret having missed out on in those moments? The house we didn’t buy? The new car we never had the chance to obtain? The son we didn’t spend enough time with? The spouse we gave up on too easily? The parent we never forgave? The promotion we missed?
6 – As Americans alone, we are among the richest, and most blessed population in the entire world. The majority of the wold lives in extreme poverty without a third of the access and opportunity that Americans enjoy, and, unfortunately, too often we take it for granted.
Those 6 truths keep us focused on a bigger picture that most of society seems to miss out on. Sure, we understand there are certain social standards that are important and valuable. For instance etiquette does matter, punctuality and professionalism is important, and image does make a difference. But when it comes to raising our children, we have chosen to make an intentional and conscious effort to study their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests. With that, we choose to support and encourage their uniqueness… the thing that makes them, them. We encourage them to think outside the box, find another way, stretch the mind a little bit farther. Don’t always accept there is only one right way or one right answer just because you are told that is how it is. Explore other options, possibilities, while ALWAYS focused on the big picture of what should truly be important in this life.
So, in conclusion, we’re sorry our kids are late…again. We know punctuality is important and we know it’s really uncool to disrupt or disturb the class or school with a tardy. We understand you have to cater to the masses, not the individual. Really, we understand it! But honestly, we don’t really give a damn about the masses or the elementary punctuality. What we really value this morning, is the fact that our family experienced the blessing of spending time together last night. Our family got to spend time outdoors… together. We got to each spend time doing the things we cherish like swim, work, play tennis, and love. We got to spend valuable time with an amazing friend that we don’t get to see often enough (we love our Jess). We got to relax in nature! Dad got the opportunity to play ball with his kids and mom had the privilege of kisses and hugs. Our family had an unplanned, spontaneous, and amazing dinner over beautiful scenery… together! So, we went to bed a teeny bit too late for a Monday, but if you look at the big picture, I’d say it was ALL worth it!
What this Momma Valdes and Poppa Valdes really give a damn about is that years from now, our two treasures will be all grown and will have amazing memories like the ones we made yesterday…. memories that they will carry with them for as long as our great God allows!
Here’s to the beautiful ride that is life…. when lived with a higher perspective!