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Let's Get This Straight! - Livin' the Good Life

Feb. 3rd, 2009

06:36 am - Let's Get This Straight!

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Lest anyone think that I am sitting here now proudly, and wrongly, remembering my sterling performance as a parent, let me set the record straight. I was far from faultless, and I have regrets. Somehow I got the label of "the perfect parent" in this community, and every time someone would decribe me that way, I would cringe. I'd remember that just that very morning I had used my temper to force my will on my kids. I would remember that I had yelled instead of spoken calmly and lovingly. And though spankings were very rare in our home, sometimes I had resorted to them. I am not proud of that. My parenting skills would sometimes be stretched to the far limits of my abilities, and I'd fall off the edge, forgetting the high road. I was SO hard on myself about that. "Why can't I get it right??" "I know better!!" But, that always seemed to be the best I could do in each particular instance.
The great thing about being a parent is that every day you get to wake up and try again. It's not like a game or a contest where you only get a few opportunities to offer your best effort. It's more like a game that goes on all day everyday without let-up, and if you mess up, you have the next moment to fix it. The next moment and the next moment, the next day and the next day. It's like this 18 year "project" that in some ways is never done. I'm still righting wrongs from my parenting past when they are brought up again in the present. My parenting past CONTINUES to come up for review and repair. And that is because my adult children have a desire to "be right" with me, and if they have lingering hurts or anger towards me, they tell me. They tell me in a very gentle and respectful way. They tell me in a way so as not to create any more damage, but only as an effort to repair something between us. Bless them!! THEY have the skills I wish that I had had. THEY have taken our relationship to the next level. I can honestly say that I think my sons will be better parents than I was. I believe that I did a good job, but I think they will do better. And isn't that what we all hope for our children? That they will stand on our shoulders and surpass us? I'm looking forward to seeing my sons as fathers and to feeling the joy of watching MY love amplified by THEIR love. I want to see and feel that great legacy of love continuing on down to the next generation and beyond.