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Days of Our Lives Episode Three: Raising Children

Updated on October 14, 2015

A Little Background

I’ve said it before…

I won the adoption lottery!

There is no other way to describe it. I’ve heard horror stories of other foster care kids, and I was tossed around nine foster homes while a baby, but bottom line is I won the lottery. I was finally adopted by two incredibly supportive and loving human beings, and a kid could not ask for a better childhood.

The thing is, though, my parents were not perfect parents. They had their faults. They had Herculean faults and at times those faults were glaring. There were dark secrets. There were indiscretions. There was proof almost daily that they were, in fact, human beings and not gods sent to alleviate my loneliness and abandoned hope.

It would serve no purpose to list their frailties. Suffice it to say they were imperfect and at times their parenting skills were imperfect as well.

My finest accomplishment....my son
My finest accomplishment....my son | Source

And Then There Is Bev

I really don’t like to speak for other people so I’ll refrain from any particulars about Bev’s childhood or her parents. You’ll just have to trust me when I tell you she had to basically raise herself with practically no parental supervision or guidance.

Bev had a tougher job than I did by far
Bev had a tougher job than I did by far | Source

More Background Before We Get to the Point

The only other tidbits of information you need to know is I ended up adopting a child, Tyler, and raising him pretty much on my own for fifteen years. Bev, on the other hand, gave birth to four children….Matt, Andrew, Leo and Allora….and for many years was the single parent.

Two of Bev's sons
Two of Bev's sons | Source

Now We Can Get to the Nitty Gritty

As all of you who have ever done this parenting gig know, there is no book of instructions handed to you when you leave the hospital with that burping, puking, crying, giggling bundle of love. When your child misbehaves you can’t go to the table of contents and turn to that magical page where the answer will appear. When your child gets his or her heart broken, there is no elixir that will give you exactly the right words to soothe their pain. How to handle bullying, how to make sure chores and homework are done, how to act like a functional member of society, how to handle any of a thousand daily crises, none of that is handed to you in a “Parenting for Dummies” volume.

The best you can do is the best you can do.

It’s funny what we remember. I remember holding my son for the very first time…he was three days old when we adopted him….and thinking “I am so over my head.” And then something my dad told me entered my brain….”fake it till you make it.” I suspect that’s what he did as a parent and I know damned well that’s what I did.

The baby of our family
The baby of our family | Source

But Still….

Even faking it, though, one has to base the decisions upon something. I mean, we as parents don’t put a dartboard up on the wall and toss darts for answers to parenting problems. And that is, finally, the point of this article.

For me it was a conscious decision. I suspect for many it is something they do as parents but have never really thought about why they do it.

Early on in my parenting venture I sat myself down and had a talk with me. Nobody saw me so there was no danger of me being locked up in a padded room, the crazy guy talking to the crazy guy and only one guy there talking. Let’s say I spent some time in introspection. That sounds much less crazy, doesn’t it?

I spent time thinking about how my parents raised me. What did they do correctly? What did they fail miserably at? I tried to be as honest as possible which isn’t always easy when practicing introspection. We have a tendency to want to sugar-coat everything, to see things from a distance as “not being as bad” as they actually were, or “being much more glorious” than they actually were, or in some cases seeing things as much worse. So I tried to be honest.

It wasn’t easy. I idolized my parents while growing up, so I’m glad I was in my late twenties when I tried that little mental and emotional exercise.

And Bev's other son
And Bev's other son | Source

What They Did Correctly

First and foremost, they never let me forget that I was loved. I think this is mandatory for any parent. Through words, through actions and even through unspoken communication, love must be transmitted from parent to child daily.

There must be a sense of safety for the child. A young one must always feel like home is a sanctuary where there is freedom to grow without fear.

There must be reasonable expectations. I can’t thank my parents enough for this. They held the bar reasonably high for me but it was reachable. They made it known that life is a gift and wasting that gift was unacceptable. I was given chores, I was given standards to live by and I was given the independence that allowed me, in later years, to stand alone if necessary and handle anything that came my way. In other words, I was given support and yet understood that the support given would never be offered as a crutch.

I was taught to respect others, to treat others with compassion and empathy and to demand that respect be given to me. I was told I was as good as anyone else but never better than anyone else. I was raised to fight for my principles and to fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.

All were crucial lessons in molding me to be an upstanding, reliable and functioning human being, and I tried to pass those same lessons on to my son.

What They Failed Miserably At

If this little lesson was to have any validity, I had to take off the rose-colored glasses and see my parents’ warts. It was painful to do so, but it was also mandatory and enlightening.

My parents were intolerant in many ways. They were prejudiced. They kept secrets locked up, never spoke of them and allowed them, by doing so, to fester and infect the very lifeblood of our family. My father could be unbending and unwilling to listen to reason. My mother was emotionally unstable and often weak-willed.

I sliced and diced my parents. I placed them under the microscope and inspected every fiber of their being. I did not allow my love for them to cut them slack.

Just trying to get it right
Just trying to get it right | Source

And When I Was All Done

I had a framework to work with. I had that parenting manual I desperately needed. I borrowed from the good and rejected the bad, and I suspect Bev did the same.

And the end result?

Between the two of us we have five children who are, above all else, good people.

Between the two of us we have five children who know they are loved and who are capable of giving love in return.

Between the two of us we have five children and we are proud of each and every one of them.

And we are proud of ourselves.

We did a good job, and when the final tally is taken, and our final days have arrived, that will be our greatest legacy…..we raised loving human beings with love.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you so much. We have made our mistakes but at least learned from them. I love your memories of when your son was born. Beautiful!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Both you and Bev are wonderful parents. I remember the day my son was born as if it were yesterday. I thought, looking down at him as he was cradled in my arms, "I know you, but I don't know you. All I know for certain is that I would throw myself in front of a train to protect you." But despite our loving hearts and intentions, there is no sure-fire handbook, map or guide that can prepare us for the those, "Oh my God, what do I do now?" moments, and of the miraculous joys of parenting. I loved you father's quote: ”fake it till you make it.” Bill, you are Bev ARE the winning lottery of parenting. I don't think there is any greater gift in life. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That is the hope, Deb. Thank you!

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      What you did sounds more than reasonable to me, and they in turn, will also do the same.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, nice baseball analogy....thank you for that. You had me smiling....and smiling at the bottom line of your comment...we did our jobs. :) Thank you!

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      We have much in common, both the adoption situation, and having families of our own. I think, as you have pointed out, our success as parents is seen in the wonderful children we raise. That they are able to stand on their own two feet, be respectful and loving adults, and finally, wonderful parents...it comes full circle and we did our job!

      It must have been difficult for you and Bev with the curve balls thrown your way in the beginning, but you found your sweet spot and hit home runs!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It does for sure, Sha...fall into place...we just have to trust that it will. Thanks for those thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Zulma! We loved the movie. As for the Libra summation.....I hope so. Thank you and have a terrific Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I can't see that far ahead, but I'm happy you think so. We shall see. Thank you!

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      You and Bev did your job well, Bill. Parenting is trial and error at best. While we're learning there should be some constants given to our children: love, security, safety, and understanding. The rest sort of falls into place.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      October 13th. That makes you a Libra. Balance, Justice, Truth, Beauty, Perfection. That sums you up pretty well. Happy Belated Birthday to you, Sir. Hope you enjoyed the movie.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Bravo - I can see another William Holland (& Bev) title in the making.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks Eric. I think there might be a bit more to your mystery than serendipity, but we'll argue that another day. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thank you! We have tried. That's all any of us can do, as I know you know. We're taking care of the west coast while you police the east...the love patrol is on duty. :)

      Blessings and hugs heading east this morning!

      bill

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I go with a little more weight given toward serendipity. Kind of like us parents can screw it up but the goodness comes from something deeper than other people. But perhaps I think that way so I can take less responsibility. Our world was made better for us by your father helping make you what you are and no doubt you have passed it along.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Yes, yes, and yes. The end result of our parenting is that our children turn out to be good people...that is after all the bottom line. NO doubt you and Bev have done well by your children who will in turn carry on that legacy.

      Angels are on the way to you and to your children today and each day...blessings in tow ps

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! It was October 13th as a matter of fact, and today is my birthday movie...we are going to go see The Martian. Can't wait.

      Have a great weekend, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, you summed it up pretty well. I just wish they would invite me to advise more often. LOL

      I hope you have a great weekend. We are off to watch "The Martian"....it's my birthday movie so Bev's treat. :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Another thoughtful and in depth look at life; I love this series because it's a light-hearted look at serious issues. I think you ought to write that manual; you've said it all here!

      Reading Janine's comment I take it that your birthday is 14 Oct - is that right? Same as my partner's!

      Whichever day it was I hope you had a wonderful day and that your weekend is great too, bill.

      Ann

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      I understand how difficult it is to stay silent, especially when they're traveling the same road we did. You know the pitfalls; you want so badly to warn them for their own good. But sometimes they see it as we not having faith in their abilities. Children have to live their life as they see fit and we have to let them. At this stage of the game, as parents, all we can do is support their decisions, advise only when invited to and help them pick up the pieces if it goes wrong. You never stop being a parent.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I try my best and that's all I can do.

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      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I'm still working on it, Bill! Have a great weekend. Jaye

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great parenting and you have showed it all here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suraj, I love how you equated this to operating on ourselves. Perfect simile....I would add without painkillers. :) Obviously your parents did good in raising you...look at how you turned out. Look at how you want to be a good father. Look at how you support others here and have positive messages for them. You are a good man...somewhere inside of you are messages from your parents.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene. There were quite a few days when I doubted that seriously...but thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my goodness, drbj...just what I need is another book project. LOL Thank you, though, for your kind words and support.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 2 years ago from jakarta

      Great testament to parenting. I am personally in awe as to how the both of you managed to live a good life with love and still function well in society, not just function well, but actually be examples of what a good decent person is supposed to be and how to raise a family right.

      Introspection is indeed very hard, it is the mental equivalent of operating on yourself. you need to be objective towards all the things that you are emotionally attached to. I wish I have the mental fortitude to do it as diligently as you did. From the looks of it you have done a good job at introspecting.

      I really loved how you could dissect what your parents did right and wrong. I am kind of going through the same thing now. I have an 18 months old daughter, and I am trying to figure things out as a father, she will start her school soon. I really wish I could be as introspective as you did. I try to figure out what my parents did right and what they did wrong, but I always find myself thinking of all the wrongs they did, and I come out angry and frustrated. It is so easy to put the blame on them for our shortcomings. LOL. It is not easy.

      Great hub, my friend. I am going to bookmark this for future reference.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Bill, we are on the same wave length to a level that it is scary. One of my "High Five" comments for tomorrow is along the same lines as your story here. I know I faked it until I made it and when I look at how my children turned out, I'm actually pretty proud of myself. Good job, Bill. You passed the parent test with flying colors.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      This could well be the first amazing chapter of that book, "Parenting for Dummies,' that you will write one day, Bill. And I will gladly stand in line to have you personally sign my copy.

      Happy belated birthday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Letstalk, your story is a great one and a valuable lesson to all parents. We have no idea what curveballs are going to come our way as parents. As you said, expect the unexpected and always be ready to adjust the plan. Thanks for sharing that.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 2 years ago from Bend, OR

      A lot of truth there, Bill. I thought I knew exactly how I wanted to rear my first-born son. After years of teaching kindergarten, I thought I had a pretty good handle on what parents did right and what they did wrong. But, almost right away, I knew there was something off with my baby and five long years later, he was officially diagnosed with autism. I had to throw out my game plan and make a new one as I went along, taking cues from my son. It was difficult, but it made me live life in a new way -- always expecting the unexpected and ready to handle it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      She is at Western Washington University in the city of Bellingham. She is going into Business and I'm keeping my mouth shut on that choice. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      How nice for her. Where has she gone? Has she decided on a career yet? Writing, perhaps? ;)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Isn't that the truth, Zulma. Our youngest went away to college three weeks ago and I really miss her. Who would have thought it was possible? LOL Certainly not me.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      You're very welcome, Mr. Bill. Parents are funny creatures. My oldest just left with her fiance for Scotland. It will be her first camping trip and they'll be gone for 3 days. I thought I would relish the peace and quiet. Truth is...I'm missing her already. I guess you never stop being a parent.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Zulma. Just what I need, another book project. LOL But I appreciate your kind words and who knows? Your prediction just might be correct.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Talers. I appreciate you stopping by and following. I'll be by your site shortly.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John! I did turn out okay, and I am so happy to see our kids happy. It's a fine achievement for sure, as I know you know.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, so nice to see you. Thank you for the birthday wishes and the lovely words. Three kids, grandkids and great-grandkids? You done great, my friend. You done great!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tireless, makes us softer with love. I can live with that for sure. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, no sweat. Thank you....happy, healthy, productive, lovely and loving...that's not bad, is it? :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope. Through your words...through mine...we all learn. We are all alike in so many ways. Articles like this one, and the comments that follow, point that out very well.

      blessings always, my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria. It has been a peaceful week so far. I wish the same for you.

      blessings and love, now and forever

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lori! Just trying to keep it real for all of us...we are going to make mistakes. That's a given.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I can't think of anything else to ask from this lifetime...that is a great accomplishment, my friend, and I salute you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish. I'm definitely not hard on my parents but I do try to be realistic. In the end, they were just human...as are all of us.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      The best you can do is the best you can do. I like that. Great advice for any endeavour one undertakes, not just for parenting. My husband and I have done our best (he probably did a better job than I as he had a more normal upbringing) and I'm quite proud of our kids.

      I'm enjoying this series so far. I suspect in time, you'll have another book on your hands. :)

    • Talers profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from San Diego

      Seems like you dealt with it in the right way, I like to think that you have to "fake it to make it" for the entirety of existence... Any way, well written; you captured this part of the human experience pretty well

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill,our families and especially our children are the most precious things in the world. As you say parenting doe not come with a manual. You could probably Google "how to be a good parent" but it would only be basic knowledge and wouldn't cover individual children and exceptional situations. I don't know anyone who is or who had perfect parents. We just do the best with what we have observed and learnt from our own parents' good and bad points. I know you turned out ok, and I am sure you and Bev are great parents as well. Very enjoyable hub. Thank you for sharing.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      What a wonderful way to end my day, reading this wonderful essay about learning to be a parent. A copy of "Parenthood for Dummies" would have helped a lot of us, Bill. I certainly needed one. In lieu of that guide, learning by example (what to do, what not to do) is an excellent way to "make it after you fake it". Most parents consider their children to be their finest achievements. I know that I do, and I'm thankful for having three opportunities. My reward for being a mom? Getting to be a grandmother and now a great-grandmother!

      Sorry I missed your birthday (which I should remember since it's also another friend's birthday). I hope you enjoyed a wonderful day celebrating it. Jaye

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      Judy Specht 2 years ago from California

      After our first was born my neighbor told me having a baby made me so much softer.

      I hate to think what I might have been like without our boys.

      Bravo to you and Bev on a job well done!

      Love this hub.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Such a Happy, healthy, productive, lovely and LOVING FAMILY!!! Makes my heart sing!

      "Happy Birthday," yesterday?? What a terrible sister am I! I must sit in the corner til morning.........Sorry bro. :(

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Hi Bill.

      A beautiful story of best parents: you, Bev as well as your parents. You've summed it up as, "Do the best you can do." And I thought I had the 'best' parents myself.. Early in my life I came to it, they (parents) could not live without us (children) like us we could not live without them. How else would be "parents" without children? But when our turn came, it was a bit different: no one has given us guidance on how to be parents, so we started to learn from those tiny gifts 'of love' by listening to the deepest depths of my (our) inner self catching an advice instinctively to fulfill his unspoken need. So with each new addition we did the best we could just to learn that it is a grace from above giving us the strength and wisdom to love 'tough' seriously, and without compromising between "no" or "yes" ... In retrospective remembering all my days of parenting one thing I am happy to admit that it was and is a worthwhile every moment of it..

      Thank you for another wonderful read my friend.

      Blessings and peace with us ..

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      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I loved learning this beautiful part of your life...and what you learned from your parents...

      Have a peaceful week. Love, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, all I can tell you is enjoy every minute of that Halloween. Those are precious moments that only come once.

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      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I didn't even get the cliff notes for parenting. lol. This was very poignant. I like how you pointed out that parents are not perfect and are learning as they go along. I am so glad you felt loved. I have three adopted grandsons and they are very loved indeed.

      I have four sons and I made a lot of mistakes. Lots! But I have made my amends and tried not to interfere too much in their parenting unless they ask me or something is seriously not right. Marriage and parenting are two of the hardest things to do in life. Love your share here billy.

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      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for sharing your story. I totally agree, our biggest contribution to this world is our three daughters. They came out great, and we are grateful! What more can a person ask? Thanks, again, for sharing! ;-)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      We can be so hard on the people who raised us. Recently my father has started to share details of his own upbringing and I am so surprised he ever made it off the farm to become the person he is. His background is more tragic than one could make up. It makes me sad just thinking about it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I appreciate your insight on parenting. At the end of this month my wife and I will be celebrating our first year as parents, and Halloween, lol.

      I can still use all the help I can get. Wonderful hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Smile, despite being clueless, I ended up doing a good job and for that, I am thankful. I am proud of all the kids...they done good and so did their parents. :) Thanks for sharing.

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      Smilealot 2 years ago

      I can really relate and empathise with you on much of what what said here Bill. I have a six year old daughter and sometimes I feel I am in way above my head. Like you say, they don't come with a manual, so it's all about learning as you go along. I agree entirely with you about making sure they know they are loved every day, if there are a few things left slightly neglected at times, it should never be that one. You must be very proud to have grown up kids that have turned out to be good people...what more could anyone ask for:-))

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Emese, I will go to my grave believing that is true. Love can overcome quite a few parental deficiencies. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruchira! Best wishes to you as well.

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 2 years ago from The Desert

      Thank you for sharing this, Bill. I can only hope that a few years from now I can look back on my parenting years and feel the same way. Parenting is the hardest, and most humbling experience probably for all of us. We make mistakes and hope that our children will forgive us for them. We learn from them and maybe some day, when they become parents, they will learn from them. I believe you are right though that the biggest and most important gift to our children, the one that matters most in the end, is our unconditional love.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 2 years ago from United States

      Loved reading the beautiful journey you and Bev tread upon.

      Best wishes for the coming years, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. I appreciate you and wish you peace and happiness.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Linda, and I might add your children are blessed to have their parents. Thanks for sharing some great reflections. I agree with you totally.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I firmly believe that to be true, Dora. Love can overcome a great many imperfections. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting hub. Glad to see your children love and respect you and Bev and that you both have been most honest and sincere in raising the children in spite of so many drawbacks and limitations. Thanks for sharing your experiences. My blessings and best wishes.

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, our children are our one true legacy. Writing, painting, creating can be a façade hiding our true being, but our children put it all out there in the open. They truly reveal the people we were. (That's a sobering thought, isn't it?).

      Sadly I think many people fail to have that little conversation with themselves (as you did) when enrobed with the mantel of parenthood. Maybe that's why so much of society seems to be going to Hell in a hand basket. A generation is being raised to assume that they are entitled, they are perfect, they are invincible, and the world owes them big time.

      My children have always known that they are loved, even when they are most unlovable. They know that they are imperfect, that they and I have made mistakes (sometimes big ones).

      They know that the world will hand them lemons and they can choose to be sour, or find the sweetness in life and make lemonade.

      They know that no matter where they are in life, they always have a home as long as their dad and I have a breath in our bodies. I sense that you and Bev have raised your five with much the same principles. Your children are blessed to have you as parents.

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      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Interesting how some children maintain respect for parents in the face of the parents' imperfections. These children seem to become the parents, who despite their imperfections, manage to love their children into productive, practical living. Seems that love is the most important qualification for parenting.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you B Brian Hill. I'm glad you could relate..that's why i share these things.

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      B Brian Hill 2 years ago

      This is a thoroughly enjoyable read. What honesty. I enjoyed all your thoughts on children and raising an adopted child. My daughter is 16 and come to us from Korea at 5 months. Your views and reflections strike a particular meaning for me.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Buildreps...I greatly appreciate it. I hope all is well with you.

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      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Great how you were able to transform your vulnerabilities into strength, and able to talk so crystal clear about it. That's something to be proud of, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. We are the parents you and your husband will be thirty years from now. :) Love is the answer as you well know.

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      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Aw, you should most definitely be proud of yourselves and seriously you are both from all I know for these many years I have known you now wonderful parents! Happy Wednesday and hope you had an amazing birthday yesterday once again, too Bill ;)