I had a dream once: that I would make no mistakes as a parent. That I would naturally accommodate every one of my child’s needs, easily understanding their complex personalities. I studied other parents and wrote mental notes of the things I would and would not do. I dreamed that they would have no reason to be angry at me because of my completely rational decisions, that they wouldn’t hate me when they become teenagers, and that one day I would stand on a pedestal as my children applauded my success…
SERIOUSLY! What.A.Joke. First of all, after having my second child I was a little thrown off to realize that the two of them had different personalities. Duh! You would think that was a no brainer, but apparently I subconsciously assumed that all my kids would be the same!? I had the first boy, and just assumed that the next one would have the same characteristics.
Looking back at this dream I realize that I am somewhat of an overachiever in the areas of life and work that I truly love. I want to do good by them, but in reality I am my own person who is greatly flawed. I worried about my flaws, my bad habits, and the bad choices I made growing up and sometimes felt terrified about my children making the same mistakes. Then it dawned on me: I like myself – flawed and all! I learned through each mistake, each bumpy road or obstacle that life gave me, all in a process to grow into the person I am today. Heck, I’m still growing!
My children ARE going to make mistakes, and I want to engrave it into my brain that they are NOT perfect, and that I should NEVER give them an impression that I ever was or will be. I think it’s important for them to know that I messed up, because they are going to mess up, and they will need to see what comes from growth. When they do mess up, I only hope I can be there to give them love and not stand with my arms crossed, shaking my head with a look of disappointment and shame. I love my kids so much, not because of anything they have ever said to me or done for me, but because they are MY kids!
I had a dream once: that I was standing on a pedestal. You see…my children had children and it awoke a fierce love in them that only a parent can have for their kids. And it dawned on them, that though their Mama made some mistakes raising them, that for the first time they could truly see how much she loved them.
Lemaire family photos by Melissa Vossler Photography.