I am so proud of my kids. They are strong. They have already been through many ups and downs in life, but they thrive. Most of the time. Sometimes they fall. Sometimes, they curl up into protection-mode, because the world can be a harsh place, and they are scared.
In the last few days, they have shown me many reasons to be proud. Giving a dollar to a homeless man, sharing a dessert they swore they wouldn’t with a sibling, calling out the child who was mean to another, reminding me that they have listened to what I have said, and learned what is polite, and what is not. They are growing up to be caring individuals. I have done a few things right. These moments are beautiful……for the heart of a parent.
Many times, though, I get the feeling something is brewing, deep in the pit of their being. They are not ready to talk yet, but it is coming. They desperately want to figure it out on their own, but they cannot. They don’t have the tools. Did I fail to provide them? Did I let them down? Or is it just something that comes with time, different for each child? Life lessons are hard for kids, maybe even harder for the parents who have to watch. And wonder. Could I have done something different, to better prepare my child? These questions are always floating around……..in the heart of a parent.
Over the years I have learned to be patient. To give them time to come to terms with whatever is bothering them, and seek help or advice when they are ready. I have learned that trying to dig it out of them will only create resentment. But it’s hard to wait, when you know they are struggling. Or hurting. Or stressed. Patience can be hard……… on the heart of a parent.
I can only hope that years down the road, I will see how these experiences helped them grow. Become stronger, and more resilient. Molded them into adults who will wear armor when necessary. Who will not hide from the harshness of the world, but will stand up, weather the storm, and come out even stronger still. That as parents, we will have provided them with the skills and the determination they need to be successful in their endeavors, whatever they may be. In the meantime….Parenting is hard…….on the heart of a parent.