I hope that one day my children will realize how much I love them. I hope they know that I’ve only wanted the very best for them. My parents were imperfect people but there has never been a day in my life when I ever doubted their love. I hope my kids can find it in their hearts to let go of all the damage I might have done while trying to be the best mom I could.
I guess I didn’t think that after parenting for 30 years that I could feel like I did it all wrong. They aren’t bad people. In fact, I think they are pretty awesome. But there are times when I think one or two of them might feel they survived despite my parenting- not as a result of it.
If I try to help, I’m interfering. If I give them space, I’m abandoning them. If I ask too many questions, I’m being nosy and if I wait for them to come to me, I’m ignoring them. And I can’t show emotions….nope, don’t get me started on that one.
I hope this is all just me beating myself up over something that has nothing to do with me.
It’s not easier when they grow up. Especially while experiencing major life events during a pandemic. (And being their parent during this time isn’t a walk in the park either!)
The bottom line is-
I love my kids more than anything in the world.
I will do anything and everything I can do to help them.
I think they are amazing human beings- kind, generous and funny.
Near the beginning of this clip from the movie Parenthood, Frank Buckman talks about a time when he and his wife thought their son had polio and the feelings that experience evoked.
Soon I will be celebrating the birthday of my youngest child, my baby, Andrew. He will turn 22 years old. When Andrew was nearly two months old, his doctor was concerned that he might have a narrowed aorta which would be considered a critical congenital heart defect. I will never forget that feeling- I already loved this little guy so much and he might be suffering or at risk for a lifetime of health problems. Oh, my heart. Yes, I understand what Frank meant.
What I felt for Andy all those years ago was just the tiniest fraction of how much I love him (and his siblings) today. I know there are people who do not have more than one or two children because they love them so much, they can’t imagine being able to love more. But love isn’t given to you in a limited quantity to dole out to everyone in your life and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Loving one person doesn’t take any love away from someone else you love. And I’m here to tell you that if you think you have an enormous amount of love for that one child, you don’t have three times that for three kids. It just grows and grows to such an incredible size. And that growing takes place as they grow. That overwhelming feeling of love you might feel for that little guy when he’s two months old is going to expand and fill your life in a way you never thought possible.
It won’t be easy. Their problems will grow with them and sometimes you will have to “be there” but let them handle it on their own and sometimes they will let you help them. No, it won’t be easy but it will definitely be worth it.
And as I tend to do around my children’s birthdays, I’m feeling very nostalgic and very blessed. Oh, and Andrew ended up being the healthiest of all my children- so there you go. Just another reason to be happy.
But a word to those who haven’t reached this realization yet, to quote Frank Buckham- “IT NEVER ENDS!” (And that’s a good thing, right? Right?)
Have a great day!
“I wish I could freeze time or go back in time and watch my kids grow up all over again because it is just going by too fast.” – Robert Rodriguez