For about every parent I know, I see a different way of parenting. A reminder that there is no manual and to distill it down to nothing but “love” is tricky. There is tough love of course, which as a whole, we aren’t as fond of these days. It seems that when we give “tough love” is when we can’t afford to do something, so we call it “tough love”. I wonder if that was always the case.
I am a parent to children from ages 15- 21 right now. The further I go down this road the less I feel I know, yet at the same time, I find pockets of peace. I get the sense that everything is going to work out ok. It scares me to write that and say I believe that, when so far no big tragedy has happened. So within the non tragedy realm this post would be. For those of you that I know and ones I don’t that have faced a big tragedy, my heart aches for you always, and your courage and peace are pulsing through my veins always.
I think for me, when I realized that I didn’t own my children, it gave me a freedom to love them deeper for who they were. Yes, I feel a large part of my role is to shape them, but also to introduce them to a world of possibilities and a way of thinking that is open to hope and being positive. While it is keeping them between the ditches of life, it hopefully isn’t done with fear. They will find and need their own ditches for sure, but I want them to know that isn’t where they have to stay.
I also have to be big enough to let the child be the teacher at times. That isn’t always easy for me. Any of us that have teenagers already know when we have difficulty hooking up some electronic, you go straight to them. But they can be teachers of who we really are as parents. We can see our behaviors , justifications and ill reasoning in them. We can sense when, who we say or think we are, tears away from who we really are as we look into their eyes. For me, those have been times of growth for both child and parent.
This is a short post because I really don’t have any deep words of wisdom to pass on. It is a role in my life that I live with and breathe in deeply everyday. My mistakes hang over me like a heavy cloud sometimes, wishing I could change what happened to their little hearts. The closeness I feel, I cherish like something I may never get again. I try to carve deep into their spirits their connection with the Creator. One free of guilt and shame. One of love, one of fulfillment. And yes, of course love. Lots of love. I hope they feel it and would agree.