Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Spinning straw into gold~
If I take credit for my daughter's intelligent, organized approach to life, then I must take blame for my youngest son's overdue library books. If I take credit for his athletic prowess and caring personality, then I have to blame myself for my oldest son's problems.
I'd love the credit, but not the blame. In reality, I deserve neither -- or maybe a little of both. But only a little. They are who they are, these kids of mine. They've been unique individuals from the moment they entered the world. I only polished the surface, and not even that these days as they live independent lives-- or nearly so. I've stored the "character polish" with the baby pictures. Its use by date has expired.
I gave my children half their genes and all my love. They didn't come with instructions for care. Each was-- is-- unique. What worked, what didn't, what was helpful or not, was different for each child. It was up to me to determine what would be best for each of them. And I wasn't always sure.
I advised, nurtured, and disciplined, fine-tuning my mothering to fit each child's needs as best I understood them. I relied more on common sense and innate maternal wisdom than on generic advice from child care experts who never met my children.
Despite me and because of me, my children are in control of their lives. Or in the case of my oldest, he holds the reins, and I have to let him, despite the fact that he often rides off into the brambles.
Faith, like muscle, is built by use. Saying you have faith is not enough. Faith requires you to lean hard on the object of your trust without flinching, without bracing for the chair to be pulled away just as you sit. I have leaned hard on myself, for I must have faith that what I do, what I have done and will do still, if nothing else, is the best I have to offer. That matters.
My children will take the tools I've provided and continue to shape their lives-- for the better, I hope. Or not. But that is for them to decide. I have faith in them, too. Each of them.
“If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.”~Brian Tracy