How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

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Brought up Feb 28, 2013

Grown Up Problems

I spent part of this evening talking with a dear friend. She was one of my best friends in high school, and I even lived with her family for a time. She is going through some serious issues, not my place to share. The thing is, it got me thinking, this is not what we thought being a 'grown up' was going to be.

I remember thinking, and even saying aloud, the things I would NEVER do 'when I grow up,' and the things I thought I would do. I would never hit my kids was big on that list, right at the top. I failed on that one. I spanked my kids when time outs, rewards for good behavior, and other crap didn't work. There were times I had to draw back when my temper came out, for fear of seriously hurting one of them. I think, in the end, I did all right, but I was not the parent I wanted to be.

I wanted our home to be one of those where all the kids hung out, eating my home made pizza and sleeping over. It never happened. At one point, my son said his friends thought his parents were divorced, because they never saw us, and my husband is always on the road. I became a bit of a hermit with my depression.

I swore I would be one of those mom's that my kids could turn to for anything, and that has sort of worked. My kids talk to me, still, sometimes. They know I will listen, and help if they want. My son especially has had a few of life's rough spots that he turned to me for guidance and support. The hardest has been the deaths of two best friends, one in middle school (junior high to the Yankees) and one just a few years ago. The last one was the hardest on us all. A young man who was also a father. My son was present when the accident happened, held his friend as they waited for the ambulance, and was at the hospital when they turned off the machines to harvest his donated organs. More than once, I held my grown son as he cried. More than once, I just listened, and cried with him, feeling completely helpless to ease his pain. The worst thing in the world is going at 2 in the morning to pick up your son, too drunk to drive, (and enough sense to know it) and having him sobbing over and over, "I saw his brain, mom. I knew he was gone, even if he was breathing, because I could see his f***ing brain." What do you say to ease that kind of pain? I just held him, and cried with him. So much to handle for a young man.

I hope I did okay. there were times I felt I could have done better raising my kids. We all think that, I guess. Now, my kids, like my friends' kids, are more or less adults. They are the ones making those 'when I grow up' statements. We watch them struggle with the whole adult thing, the problems, the joys. I hope my kids have fewer of those 'I'll never do that like my mom and dad' thoughts than I did.

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