I often question my parenting skills. I am not what you would call a “natural” in the parenting department. I have had to learn along the way. This is one of those things in life I think some are just born with the knowledge and run with it while I have had to find the knowledge and dig it out of a hole and then try to apply it to the best of my ability to my three great children. I think a lot of my parenting is lacking due to the fact my children are all so “different”…I mean REALLY different. I know I know all kids are different, blah blah blah…well let me just lay out my differences for ya.
Bobby, my First Born, I call him First Born like it is his first name, that could be part of the problem right…ya don’t say! He was a near perfect child, rarely in trouble, straight A’s without even trying, quiet, loved to read, truly a joy. I don’t think he ever embarrassed me in all his growing up years. I’m sure he would not adhere to the same from me. I really didn’t have to “do” much for Bobby, he was just so wonderful, easy, loving. One of those kids you dream about. So I thought…heck this is easy…let’s do it again…
Eric was born and life began to grow its own mind. I was not inclined to be receptive to this nor did I have any idea what on earth God was thinking giving me a child who required so much when I knew so little. As I muddled through his first few years I was much like a crazy person, demanding, not taking no for an answer. I can’t count how many times I said, “Yes I know you are a doctor, social specialist, etc, but I am HIS MOTHER, I do count in case you didn’t get the memo from God that was delivered down upon Eric’s arrival here on earth”. So for the first few years life was a battle…a battle I won. Ask any of those doctors today, they went down without a count and together we made a great life for Eric.
One of the greatest compliments I have ever received is from his surgeon…he said “Dotti, when I die and come back, I want to come back as your handicap child”…I had tears for I had success in raising one of my children.
Jack…Oh my Jack. He is a love bug, a huger, loves affection, me, not so much, I’m good with the get er done part but the extras I have had to learn. He needs a hug, he needs to talk, he wants to tell you how he feels, he always doesn’t feel like I think he should etc. He is a great delightful child but he needs me for totally different reasons than Eric does and reasons Bobby never required. In the last 12 years I have had to learn to take time to be a mother. It has been a most rewarding lesson to me.
But this is where the not so good a parent part comes in. I don’t know how to just do, I have to control and it has been really unfair to Bobby, when it was time for him to control he still looks to me for control because I never taught him. To be honest I had no idea how to teach him, he was so self-sufficient as a child and then came Eric who could not survive without me, Bobby was lost somewhere in between Eric getting older and Jack coming 13 years later. We are learning one day at a time.
I wrestle with great guilt when it comes to my children. My heart could not love them anymore and no one can care for them the way I do. But…I’ve let things go that should have been stopped, because I was just so happy one of my kids was going to really enjoy life. I know Eric enjoys life, he has a great life because we love him so, but I mourn for what is not going to be and I think this has made me more liberal with my other children in areas liberation should have been snuffed out. Everything Jack and Bobby do is just amazing and it’s at these times it is a harsh realization Eric will never ever do those things. It tears at your heart strings.
I can’t go back I can only move forward and I know I have made grave mistakes. But I know my heart bursts with love like no other for each one of them regardless of the mistakes. I can’t change the past and I muddle through the future and my love for them is eternal. God bless them.
I have conquered one aspect of parenting that I often see others struggle with. I have total unconditional love, regardless of the circumstance I love you, I accept you, I am proud of you and if anybody asks I have no hesitation sharing, that’s another blog…I need a sensor, I’m an over sharer. But I believe accepting our children is one of the greatest rewards of parenting, they may not do or be who you want but they are you…inside and out♥ Oh, and someday I’ll figure out that whole spell check thing, until then…just love me!