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What Happens If You Give Your Children Everything?
Hindsight? or Guilt?
No, I'm sure you think this isn't right.
No, I'm sure you think this isn't fair.
No, I'm sure you think this isn't the way you imagined it would be.
This is the way it is because we wanted to give you both the best we could.
Being fair has always been our intent, whether you believe it or not.
Your father and I love you both so much, but we cannot give you everything you want.
In fact, she says in her heart, I wouldn't, nor would I want your father to give you everything you want, even if we could.
Would you, Should you, Could you... All pertinent today the same as it was two and a half decades ago. Ah, to borrow the phrase "If only I knew now..."
What would I change, if I had had the foreknowledge? Would it have kept one from being angry? Would the other have stayed and never returned? Would I have carried through on my sorrow and JUST stopped?
Look Back, Live Forward
I was second of five children. I was part of the well hashed (ha-ha) love generation. But I was never going to get married nor have children. I thought all men were like the ones I had grown up around and because of my tendency to compete with the guys I was not like the other girls. My idea of a perfect mate was one who loved me for all that I could do, even if it meant I was better at it that he was. My Momma said "There's a pot for every lid, just wait" My Dad said "You'll never find someone like that, not around here, you are too pushy and boys don't like that"
When I had almost two years with RN after my name, I took my cat and we left. I was sure I would never come back. In another two years I met my best friend, my hubby, my spouse, my lover. He changed everything.
My David is the best man I have ever known. I am so glad he loves me still, after all these years, all the tears and worry and work that it takes to keep a family together. His morals are quiet, steady as a rock and his word is precious to him. He says his role model as a child was John Wayne because he had no male figure to follow. He thought John Wayne was the best man he had ever seen. I think he chose a good man to emulate.
When we met, I was so immature, so naïve, and so idealistic that it's a wonder the nursing profession had not already curled my head into the fetal position. I was really idealistic and still am, still do, feel that the world can be changed with the actions of just one person, steadily trying to make a difference.
My beliefs had already brought much sorrow to my plate. My peers and my family had long been trying to "talk some sense into me" but my David stood by me, gave me my first true friendship and supported whatever I attempted. Not that he didn’t give me his opinion as well, but he never did the "Well, if I were you...I knew when you started this you'd fail...I think next time you should....You are going about this all wrong" None of that. Just love and strength and support.
Did They Receive the Same?
When the kids were growing up, David was much fairer than I was, especially with holidays and birthday gifts. He was the one to count the Christmas presents, making sure each had the same amount, the same type so one would not feel slighted over the other. He was the one who gave out the same amount of fair tickets for the rides; he was the one to make sure each had the same kind of bikes, skates, video systems and games.
But day to day life is not about the holiday times or the birthday gifts. Day to day is hard and even with both of us working it was not easy. We made our choices and we stood by our decisions. Time tells on all of us for all those decisions.
We had dreams, we worked hard to reach them and we tried to give our children a good example so they would pursue their own dreams. We always told and showed our love and affection for each other and for both of them, even when we were mad at them, we still let them know we loved them. Sometimes that is not enough. Sometimes it is more than enough.
I have always loved that USMC creed about "Lead by example" but there is another, "You can lead a horse to water but..."
We never gave up, even when it seemed the heartbreak would never stop; we stayed together as a couple and let the children know they could always come home, that we would always be there for them. We did all we could do until there wasn't anything to do for either of them. They are adults; they have their own lives to lead and their own decisions to make. We are grateful for the time we were allowed to share in their lives and blessed to be allowed any part of their lives today.
But in the end, the kids are right. They were not treated the same. They did not always get it divided Even Steven. They were treated differently. They did not have it fair. They did not get everything they wanted. But they got all we could give them. We love them. In the end, that is all that is supposed to matter. Only time will tell if it is enough.