Bonnie Shell's Life Stories

What's one thing you wish you'd known before becoming a parent?

I guess the one thing I didn't realize is the enormous feeling of love that fills your heart as soon as you see your child for the first time. Before Andrew was born, I was sitting thinking one day, and two questions came to me. What if my child doesn't like me? Worse yet, what if I don't like my child? That question was answered as soon as he took his first breath. The love was mutual.

Real parents want the best for their children. A good parent sacrifices many things for their children. You make sure your child has enough to eat, a nice place to live, and always feels safe. My mother's family was hit hard by the Depression. They were a family of 11 children. My mother said she never went hungry, but grandma and grandpa may have gone hungry sometimes.

I know many mothers who didn't get a new dress because the child needed new pants, or it was time to get school supplies, or a field trip was coming up. A good parent puts their children first.

Another important thing to give a child is your time. Probably the best gift you can give your children is your time. Time to read together, play games, go on a picnic, and time to listen. Time doesn't cost money, but it is invaluable. Doing things together from when your children are little develops a closeness that lasts for life.

Andrew remains close to us. He often calls, visits, and helps us with things we are having trouble with (especially the computer).

I would never trade being a mom for anything in the world.