When you’re a child, your parents should be your everything: your guides, your cheerleaders, the people who support you and your dreams…even if you suck at your endeavors.
But that’s not always the case. Sometimes people have been so damaged by their own childhoods that they make marginal parents: inattentive, self-absorbed…entirely focused on their own needs, and on their own self-worth.
I have encountered both types in my life. I’ve seen how the children of both turn out — and in the latter case, in order to be viable parents themselves, it’s a lifetime of ‘I will not be my mother’, or ‘I will not be my father’. It’s a litany they wake up with…and a litany they recite before they go to bed.
I can’t tell you how many hours I listen to the chatter of my boys (now 18 and nearly 15), or how many hours I put in when they were young. Or how many times I stopped writing/crocheting, whatever I was doing, to give them my full and undivided attention. As a result, I have young adults who talk to me about anything and everything…and know that they can.
I’m not a perfect parent, by any measuring stick. But I have kids who know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will support their dreams and endeavors…whatever they may be.
And that’s no bad thing.