Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What my kids taught me about my parents

Oh, that sweet bundle of beautiful joy.

You see their face and its as if the skies have parted and the angels are singing.
That would be the beginning of the process.
This is where God made them so perfect you are completely sucked in by their beauty and little perfectness that you fall head over heels in absolute love and adoration.
This is all to prepare you.

There will come a day when that sweet infant turns into a little person or teenager and they aren't looking so cute when they throw a tantrum at Hannaford or slam their bedroom doors and all you have is that undying love that you felt from that first moment that literally saves their lives.

This is the plan people.

You need that first moment, trust me.

You may be just starting out, I have teenagers.
I have experience.
You may or may not agree with all my "parenting" thoughts, but I promise you, the universal love for a child always saves their life at least once.

I was having a rather tough day with these three wonderful adolescent/teenage children of mine when I had a HUGE light bulb moment.

I wanted to throat punch all three of them.
**as a disclaimer, I've never throat punched any of my kids, physically. Mentally, many, many times.
** I've never head punched, arm punched, leg punched or mouth punched or any kind of punched them either, but if I did, they may have had it coming.

shall we move away from the violence and continue on....

I sat those three little cherubs down and started a rant:

"Why am I expected to always do the right thing, have all the damn answers, make all the right decisions!!??? You get to act like jerks sporting overly priced jeans and $150 sneakers while I sacrifice my needs in my Goodwill sweatshirt to keep you fed and clothed and housed and expected to do it with a damn smile on my face!! You have the excuse..I'm a teenager, my brain is still growing and I'm supposed to know how to do everything perfectly, simply because I'm your mother!!!"

Now, this is where the big 'ol light bulb went on.
One of the most important epiphanies of my life, just came screaming through.

I realized ridiculously late in life that ......
OMG, my parents are effing human!! Which in turn meant, they aren't perfect and God never intended for them to be, or for me to be.

All those years of being pissed off for things they may haven't done, in  my eyes, "right" was absolutely not their fault!
I was amazed at that second that I had held my parents to such high standards that no human being could ever reach for MY WHOLE LIFE.
Simply because they created a human.

I expected them to have all the right answers, to make the right decisions and when they didn't, I emotionally held a grudge without even realizing it.

What's the big deal, you ask?

That moment, while I wanted to strangle those kids of mine, 5000 pounds of emotional, unforgiving baggage that I had carried around for years, slipped right off my back.

Knowing my parents as un-perfect human beings was one of the most amazing releases of my life that I didn't even realize I needed.

That terrible haircut I sported in 4th grade that I'd blamed poor Mom for.....not her fault.
She probably had a coupon or something for a new place and the woman butchered it, just trying to make ends meet. (that's the romantic story I made up). Now that I had thought about it that way, along with the haircut I was also sporting shiny braces that saved my social life and being referred to a rabbit my whole life. I've had two kids with braces, I can appreciate the sacrifice, the haircut is forgiven.

My heart felt light and the love I had for my un-perfect new parents filled me up completely. Just like me, they didn't know how to do this parenting thing perfect either.

This moment held me responsible for being the un-perfect teenager, that turned into an un-perfect parent without placing the blame card in my parent's laps anymore.

It sounds so simple, but so many of us are still carrying that baggage. We all have something in our past that make us believe our parents "damaged" us. These moments probably did damage us in one way or another, but not purposefully.

I definitely believe there is a special place in hell for parents that hurt their children, neglect them or don't provide for them. I'm not talking about these assholes.
I'm talking the kind of parents that wanted to do everything right, with a smile on their face, every single day, holding themselves to that same standard, but in no way ever could. Not because of lack of want, but simply because they are human. Just like you and me.
 God made us all this way.
The biggest lesson you can take from this, is you not only forgive your parents, but you can go ahead and forgive yourself as a parent as well.
No matter how hard you try, you are going to mess up. It's ok.

You are human.

Talk Soon,

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