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Sometimes it’s really hard to be a parent and not necessarily just because your kids can drive you nuts — especially your teenage kids. No, I think it’s really hard because the letting go process, the process of watching your kids growing up, involves such heart tugging for parents. It is very difficult for most parents who genuinely care about the adults that their children will become to sit down or stand by and let lessons be learned however difficult those lessons might be and how much you see the hurt that comes from them reflect in your child’s eyes. It is difficult to teach your children to advocate for themselves, especially when the system might be stacked against them. It is very difficult to sit back when every molecule of your parental instinct makes you want to jump in with both feet and scream your head off about something that is not only inequitable but also inherently flawed. Let’s face it, it is something that most of us have been doing for the better part of a decade and a half or more — standing up for kids who may or may not have been able to stand up for themselves and make sure they are not hurt. It is very difficult for kids and parents alike when hurt can no longer be fixed with kisses and hugs and some lessons fall completely outside of any parental control whatsoever.
In a few of the recent situations it would be easy and less painful for the parent to throw around parental weight, especially when this parental weight comes with a law license. Easy to go in guns blazing, spewing threats of litigation and violations of due process and other legalese. Easy, but not then again not so easy. Sure, exerting pressure may have changed the outcome. What lesson, though, does my son learn when his problems were fixed by his mother or his father in that situation? What lesson, indeed. How heart wrenching for the parent-part of that lawyer to see what could be construed as an injustice being done and having to sit by idly.
Faced with decisions as parents we sometimes made a difficult choices looking out for the long term good of our children and the men or women they will become. The short term ramifications of the situations and those decisions can haunt us in the short term and cause us, as parents, to second guess what seemed so apparent at a specific moment in time.
Sometimes, however, we need to step by from the situation and not get wrapped up in the “hype” of all of it and realize that in the long term, it may not be as important as it seems this moment, but the decision that was made that preceded it and the lessons learned from that decision, may have an endless ripple effect throughout the child’s life — that is the real test, not some silly accolade, or title or piece of material.
We were discussing changing over our licenses and registrations to our new state and getting officially settled in here. While I have been all for getting a Vermont driver’s license, now that it is actually going to happen, I am suffering second thoughts. Not that I don’t love Vermont and the thought of living here and all that, but I hate change and I have had my NJ driver’s license since I was 17 which is getting to be more years than I want to count and certainly much more than half of my life. So …… that got me thinking about how I really am slow to change things and usually second and third guess myself over doing or not doing them especially when they are important decisions or life changing ones or irreversible (which getting a new license hardly can be considered to anyone else but little ol’ me). Then it struck me….. the absolute only decision that I can think I ever made that I was one hundred percent absolutely sure and NEVER had any doubt about was my decision to marry Tom. Never, not even for one second prior to our marriage did I wonder if I was doing the right thing, if I should wait or shouldn’t wait or anything like that. And when that struck me I started crying…. (at least I was driving and alone at the time, so other than an occasional passing driver, no one would think that I had completely lost my mind) For me, this was a real epiphany of sorts. Marrying my husband was the one decision in my adult life of consequence that I didn’t agonize over or wonder about for even a split second. Pretty cool, huh for a woman that can’t decide what to have for dinner.