Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All you can do is love them anyway

I've been trying to sleep for hours and it won't come. Too much on my mind and no clear starting point to even begin sorting it all out.

Many of my readers are parents - some with grown kids, some with infants, some in-between. But I'm sure you've all been where I am at some point in your life: standing there rejected by your child and wondering where you went wrong. How to fix it.

I've raised my kids to be respectful of us and all adults. I've always taught my kids there's nothing wrong with questioning someone's actions or authority (even my own) as long as it's done with respect and with the understanding that while you're entitled to your opinions, you may, in fact, be wrong. I've always encouraged them to come to me when they have a problem with something I've done or said and I try to live by that rule, as well.

I make mistakes. I make the wrong choices. I screw up. I've never pretended otherwise. If there was a parenting handbook, I'd memorize the damn thing, but there's not. There are no right or wrong answers across the board. Like I told my son tonight, we have to take what we know and combine that information with the opportunities we're given and hope it turns out all right. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we don't. I'm not perfect. None of us are.

I won't go into details because overall, it's a private matter, but my son and I had a pretty massive falling out last night. I've spent most of today licking my wounds and trying to make sense of the fallout. He had opinions, which he is entitled to but went about delivering them the wronnnnng way. When I took some deep breaths and tried to approach something resembling an intelligent response absent of the hurt and betrayal I was feeling, I managed to put together an email addressing each of his points and sent it to him. I don't know if he'll read it. In fact, quite honestly, I'll be surprised if he does. But I did take the time to respond and I did so without letting my wounded heart influence my words. I did what I wish he'd have done.

But most importantly, before I addressed anything else, I told him I love him.

Sometimes, that's all we can do as parents - love them. Even when they don't love us back.

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