I remember my mother saying this to me. I remember thinking, "I hope so, too." I wasn't being nasty. I just felt there was so much that was good about me--things that needed to be nourished and acknowledged. I knew I wasn't perfect. I was very aware of the things that made me a very bad person. I just thought, if I had a chance--if someone would just believe in me--maybe I'd just be a sort of bad person.
But I didn't get a child like me. I got three beautiful, unique individuals who brought unforeseen joy and challenges. There are times I believe I will go bald with the stress of being a mom; there are also other moments so incredibly beautiful I want to freeze time so I can live there a tiny bit longer.
DJ's two best friends are engaged. Suddenly he has found himself alone. Making new friends is never easy. I'm watching his loneliness and frustration grow, understanding that he's an adult, wishing I could help, knowing I cannot. He wants to go back to school--but he's not excited about any type of major. He's decided a business degree will be best, but wants a higher paying job to help with school expenses. He tries to save money--then he finds something he cannot live without. He lives with abnormally high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as thyroid problems. He's not thrilled that he has to take "old man" medication. All he really wants to do is open his very own flower shop.
Adam can't decide if it's nice or horrible to be graduated. He's lost his routine. Routine is paramount to him. He feels insecure and grouchy when he doesn't know what will happen next. He wanted to apply as a med tech at the hospital, then found out that one of his certifications was not correct; he needs further first aid training. The mistake was the fault of his EMT instructor's and she'll be rectifying it at no cost to him. But he must wait two more weeks. The waiting is not making him happy, nor is my suggestion that there might not be a job available at the hospital and it would be prudent to find any job while he awaits final certification and application at the hospital.
Tabitha continues to battle chronic depression and anxiety. If she attends school for a full week, that constitutes a miracle. We've pulled her from all her advanced courses and her dream of graduating a year early (for which she was on track 18 months ago) will not happen. She'll be lucky to graduate with her class unless we're able to get her stabilized. She's trying desperately to do the things that will help her, but each morning constitutes a battle with real life and she feels she's losing.
In the midst of all this, DJ continues to spread sunshine wherever he goes. People light up when he walks in the room. His smile and sense of humor are contagious and delightful. I have no doubt that whatever he chooses to do, flower shop or something different, he will succeed.
Adam is trying to learn to cook and clean and take care of himself in preparation for moving out when he goes to college in the fall. He constantly distracts me with his need to have deep conversations and ask questions I cannot answer. He told me last week I was one of his very best friends--then said, "Is that okay? I know you're my mom, too." I just laughed. He'll have to figure that one out for himself.
Tabitha grows more beautiful each day. Orthodontics are her next birthday present--she's stressed and excited about the prospect. She's been "dating" a sweet young man who treats her with respect, warmth, and friendship. They're friends, she insists. I'm fine with that. The relationship at this point is innocent, comfortable, and healthy. I love spending time with my daughter. She's creative and funny and I adore her.
Do I hope my children have sons and daughters that mirror their personalities? No.
I hope my children have the strength to grow through the difficulties and mistakes and sadness they encounter. I hope they recognize how amazing and beautiful they are. I hope they understand that they are loved every moment that they breathe. And if they have children, I hope they enjoy and agonize over and pray for them, in the same way that I have done from the moment my children were born.
An maybe someday one of my children will have a child just like me. :)