Today was challenging in a way some may not understand. As a parent we want the best for our children, an easier row to hoe. When they choose something challenging we struggle between letting them toil at a task and the ease our wisdom could impart. As parents we also never want to see our children hurt, that is one of the most painful feeling when one we love is hurting and we cannot fix it, when we can only offer some solace and a bit of comfort at best it is quite heartbreaking. I have been struggling today and the realization I arrived at was almost crippling. I have hours ahead of me in the darkness of night to think for tonight I shall find no sleep.
I have feared my children would grow up to find themselves in my shoes. Some nightmare like my daughter at 22 ended up in a loveless marriage where she was on her best day, left to her own devices, on an average day manipulate, and on a difficult day I really do not want to consider. What happens if my children grow into adults and never find unconditional love and acceptance in a relationship? What if their prior home life has set a standard that they accept less than what they deserve? No matter how much I fought to protect them I have the lurking feeling they know more than they should. What if my children think it is alright to settle for a life similar to what I did for year, irrelevant of the rationality I used at the time. What if the cycle begins to repeat?
So today when my middle child came home with the magnificent life plan that could quite possibly put them on the same trajectory as their father I was crippled with fear. As I write that now, I am brought to my knees with panic and dismay. I did not shield them from what I had hoped. Did I protect his eyes and ears from some of the terrors that he has no knowledge of why his choice is a bad idea? Does he not see this is a choice to see the approval of a person who delves out “love” and “praise” as a way to control him? How can one crush his dreams of the future to protect him from the pain that it may cause. How can I step aside and let it occur or step up to break the cycle? I had always feared they may find themselves in my shoes but I had never considered they would begin down the path of the person that put me here….. I suppose I shall see no rest tonight.
“As for courage and will – we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.” – Andre Norton