If I were to die today. I would hope my children would remember the lessons, I’ve tried to teach them. I’ve shown them kindness, unconditional love, fearless motivation, strength, and the importance of standing up for what’s right. Sadly, I’ve also shown them how to be impatient, argumentative, and unwavering in their ideas which can sometimes spill into the judgmental category. Truth be told, they will have to pick what traits they want in their lives just as I had to pick the traits, I wanted in mine. I wonder if other parents see their presence as a box of coping skills and pointers that someone will pick from at some given time? Do you think they use drugs, abuse their kids, take up with different dangerous men, or find it within themselves to comply with the unspoken meaning of being a parent?
What’s the unspoken meaning? The unspoken meaning is always putting them first, even when it means you have to give up something you love. It means finding the strength to say yes even when you are broken and want to yell no. About five years ago my middle daughter was tested because she was having a hard time processing math. The school performed their assessments and came back with an IQ finding of 65. I knew enough to know that 65 was too low, but the diagnostician promised that the results were valid. I had her tested again and I was right. She was in her 70’s and had the capability to learn. She is doing great today and even looking forward to going to college in a few years, but the journey wasn’t easy. We had to do a lot of extra stuff and a lot of positive reinforcement along the way. If I had settled with that 65 and closed the box on my child, she wouldn’t be the person she is today.
It’s hard to see parents give up on their children. I think that was one of the hardest things I dealt with when I worked with the agency. I recalled I begged this one client to not give up on their child, I tried to set her up with extra services, but she was just done. There are so many cases like that and they all smash your heart into pieces. You have this child looking at you asking if they are going to get a family to love them and take care of them, and you want to say yes. You want to say it so badly, but the truth is, for some children finding families is nearly impossible. Would you be surprised if I told you that after those children come into foster care, they often run? They don’t understand what it means to stay and fight because nobody tried to stick it out for them. The next time you get angry at your children, think about the lesson you’re teaching in that moment. Are you teaching them how to be better, or are you teaching them how to fail?
Think of yourself as a tree with many branches. One branch is for work, another for family, another for self, and the list goes on. Your surrounding is as healthy as your tree which gives off the positive energy.