Thankfully, we are never too old to learn. I received an important lesson this past weekend. It doesn't change what I do, but it has made a major change in the way I think, and hopefully in how I express my feelings.
As a delightful Mothers Day gift, my husband took me to Idaho to be with all of our children. It was the only thing I had wanted. It was a weekend filled with love and laughter and warm fuzzies and opportunities to see my grown children in action as outstanding young people.
We were able to hear one daughter speak in church, giving an eloquent address on the motivating force behind service, that being love as taught by the Savior. Brilliant.
We were able to gather for a family dinner prepared by my innovative daughters who found a place big enough for all of us, who served wonderful homemade food, and who made it as lovely as it could be.
We were able to also attend church with my son and his family, witnessing his great contributions in leadership and music.
This was when I received my significant learning moment. Following the meeting we were able to visit for a few moments with my son's bishop and I expressed to him how proud I am of my son, a rather trite and hollow-sounding, yet sincere sentiment. This good man took a moment to teach me a more significant expression.
Being proud of our children is good, but more importantly, it is good to "be pleased" with them.
I was taken aback.
Surely he was absolutely right.
Being pleased with our children bespeaks something even greater than pride. I can be proud of what they do; proud of their achievements; but on a higher level is this idea of being pleased with who they are, being pleased with their choices, being pleased with the development of their character and their integrity.
So today I pay tribute to my children and express to them how pleased I am in who they have become. I may be proud of how hard they work at becoming educated and independent. But of more significance, they are outstanding, thoughtful, virtuous young people in whom I am very pleased.
And to add a bit of wisdom from Emerson, I hope my children will always remember:
"I wish the man to please himself, then he will please me."