When I began my parenting journey nearly 18 years ago, I was in the midst of holding on to childhood wounds and had complete certainty that I would irrevocably damage my offspring. When I held the child of my dreams in my arms, I had no clue what to do. I really set out on the craggy path of mothering wearing flip flops when what I needed to wear were sturdy boots, metaphorically speaking. In my heart, I loved this child, and had such fear of the journey. She cried, I cried, and slowly...painfully so...we began to unfold. And you know what happened? Healing began. I set out to heal her, but in the end, it was not my job to do that. She was born whole. She chose me in all my faults, childhood wounds and all. She chose the whole package...the divorce, the move, the fights, the chaos, the eventual return to sanity in our lives. Indeed, by parenting my children, by caring about what kind of people they become, I must ultimately care for striving to be the best I am. I am healing myself. This is not a selfish wish. This is simply what being human is: living in such a way to be an example to our children.
I am not proud of the mother I have always been. Each child has gotten a different mother as I have grown and become who I am. I was a young 23 when I started out. Now, at 40 I am so incredibly grateful for the gift of children and still humbled by what they teach me.
Thanks, Brianna, Madeline, Serena, and Davis. I love you so.