Please, don’t shoot me…
The title could be just a wee bit misleading.
I can tell you right now that I may not even tell you what I did. But, it’s to protect the ‘innocent’ – no, not me. I need not plead the 5th – ha, this time.
I guess this is one of those parental confessions, or something like that. I just read an email a little bit ago, which was in response to a required and requested email that I sent. Not that I wanted to, I was doing just fine staying in the back seat on this one. But, the parental, ” yea, I do know what’s going on” was necessary.
In actuality, the email was as much of a chance for me to support someone’s decision, which was well within the rights of a legal adult, as anything ‘required’.
But wow, when the response came, with a ‘Thank you very much for your email…’, something happened. It’s like someone flipped a switch, for the second time this week. Suddenly, all the talk, and what was floating in cyberspace, was now a reality. Oy….. I guess it’s kind of like when the divorce papers come in the mail, and the reality of it’s finality is sitting in your hands. (NO NOT MINE!!)
And here I am, one more time, finding I’ve done something I’d have never thought I’d go along with, well, not until a couple of years ago.
I grew up in a time where the playbook was quite clear, every play well rehearsed with little deviation in expectations that it will be run, like clockwork, just the way it’s always been, generation after generation. But looking back at the family history, I wonder why I would think such things. It seems we’ve always done things that were not necessarily upholding the status quo. Maybe that’s why I do not enjoy living in a box; do not do well trying to live up to others standards and expectations. So, why should I have been surprised that my children would be any less so? Ha!
So, once again, the norm for the day has now flown out the proverbial window, and we trod the path less traveled.
I am though, yet again, astounded and even a bit stunned that I would go along with the flow of that which is out of the norm. Hopefully, there won’t be too big of an uproar, but hey, it wouldn’t be the first time. But sometimes, we just have to do what we have to do.
Parenting is not a paint by the numbers or step 1,2,3 process, as much as we would like to try to make it be. Children are persons, each with their own unique personalities, make-up, learning styles, giftings, tolerances, etc. etc. etc. I had to learn very early on, that what worked for one, rarely worked for another, sometimes not even twice in a row for the same one. I didn’t think I’d ever get the hang of this parenting thing. We even had this thing called ‘life’ throw in it’s own set of wrenches on a regular basis.
By the time the 4th one rolled on in, I actually thought I’d gotten it figured out. Then school came around and ‘life’ and it got a little harder. By the time she was a teen, I was like, OMG, the 4th teenager around, and I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I AM DOING, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME!!! For the answer, see previous paragraph, multiplied to account for age differences. OOOOOOOOOOOH and then there’s that other element NO ONE WARNED ME ABOUT. How to ‘raise adult children’. Seriously, someone should write a book on that… No, not me… I still didn’t figure it out, obviously – I failed! Over and over and over again!! But then again, maybe I could write a book on all the things you DON’T want to do. haha.
I can pretty much guarantee I’ve won a few worst parent of the year awards, and possible ‘bad parent’ opinions and judgements along the way. But, I’ve learned way too well in recent years, that parenting is so much easier when you are not the one in the middle dealing with things. When you are not the one deciding which battles need to be fought, which ones need to sit on a shelf for another time, and which ones need to be cleared from the books forever and ever; it all looks black and white and quite simple and obvious. Well it’s not.
Especially when you throw in the mix, that every generation is different. With each generation, society changes a bit, or a whole lot. When I was a teen, if you’d have told me values in the world around us would be where they are today, I never would have believed you, not this soon anyways. Technology presents it’s own issues. Morals or lack thereof their own set of standards and troubles are present more than ever. OH, if a parent even thinks about standing on the moral ground and values they grew up on, OH MY! We’re just out of touch, old fashioned, hypocritical, judgmental and the list goes on and on.
So, we wait, for the magic decade that finally comes, when it is finally understood that the hard decisions that were unpopular and unpleasant, which spoiled everyone’s fun, are seen as protective love and who knows, maybe even wisdom. I’ve let go of battle lines, and made decisions I NEVER thought I’d go along with – realizing, hoping, and praying – while young people make their own mistakes, their own bad decisions – praying the price will not be too devastating or that they will not stray too far for return. [I should add here though, none of them are bad, miscreants, criminals etc – just on their own paths!] I never wanted to create out and out rebellious teens and make things worse. Put them on a long leash, and lovingly tug once awhile, well, that’s another story…
The hardest thing I think a parent may ever do (and do it fairly often) – is to let go, sometimes, completely. Even when you know that you know, that you know you should be hanging on for dear life – but it would only make things worse. Even when it’s hurts like hell while your heart is literally tearing in two. You love them enough to let them go, hopefully also trusting The One who will never let go, Who’s sight they are never out of, Who’s reach is never too short.
And we go with it, whatever it is at the moment. We steer when we can steer. We cut off at the pass what we can. We remove or place as many hurdles as we possibly can at times we need to. We do our best. We succeed, and we fail. But most of all, we love them, with everything we have. And sometimes, we find ourselves doing what we never thought we would, not in a million years. No, I’m not talking about illegal or immoral things – although, it could mean loving them anyhow, if they do them – even when they know better.
Each one is unique and fearfully and wonderfully made (and so are we), each with a path laid out just for them…
And yeah… I really did do that…