That little bundle of joy comes home with you and you think you are going to be the best mom, parent and friend that this little baby has ever had and you are going to live happily ever after. That is true right up to the stage where you go from being a super hero and the best mom ever to....."what do you know?" It's the stage where your child turns into a small adult, having his or her own opinions and of course, many times, their opinions differ from yours. These opinions can sometimes greatly differ from yours. Their choices many times are not ones you would make and you think....how did this happen? How could they be making decisions so different from what I would do? Didn't I teach them right? Didn't I give them the tools to work through these issues? And worse yet, you begin to question all of those agonizing moments where you had to say "no" or discipline them in some way to help teach a valuable lesson. Or perhaps, you missed the lesson to begin with.
The reality...is there is no manual for raising our children. Oh sure, there are books about being a good parent and strategies for building a strong confident child (I never read them, but I see them looming at me in the book store now more than ever). But every child is different and every situation is different. So with that, every outcome is different. Sometimes I want to throw my hands up and shake my head with that ever dreaded feeling of "I don't know what to do here." I look to the sky or bow my head and say...."ok...God, I need you to intervene here cuz clearly I am out of my league and I have no idea what to do with this one." It happens and I know it's all part of the process to get your child where they need to be and get you to where you need to be. We all have our life lessons and we need to allow our children to grow and learn from mistakes just as we did.
I don't pretend to know it all (although my children might say that I do). What I do know, is that I love each one of my children more than they will ever know. I want only good things for them and want the best that life has to offer. Isn't that what we all want? I know I'm not perfect and I make mistakes....all the time. I need to work on letting them know that it's ok that they think differently than me. I need to work on letting go a little bit more so they have the freedom to make their own choices, stumble, fall and pick themselves up. I need them to know that there is no perfect choice or perfect path in life. They have to choose what is best and then choose some more along the way.
There is beauty in our imperfections and our imperfect lives. I hope that one day, as my children look back, they will see my intentions and imperfections as they are and understand that I was making the best choices I had at the time, as a parent, to love them through their journey.
I think it is through our imperfections, not just our successes, that we shine and become who we are suppose to be.