Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Parenthood

Do you realize that becoming a parent transforms your entire life? I don't think I fully comprehended that until the first time I held my DS in my arms. You are emotions are overflowing and you can't imagine that something so precious has been entrusted to you.

When my kids were small I thought life was hard. There was after all the terrible two's, potty training, teaching them to ride their bike, read and so much more. I loved every minute of it. There is nothing like the curiosity of a three year old as you go on a nature walk - they notice everything and I mean everything. Many discussions will come from why the worms are on the sidewalk after a rain and why do the leaves change colour in the fall.

At the same time there is this feeling of momma bear that kicks in once you have children. You are trying to protect them from the world, prevent all the owchies. The house becomes 'child proofed', all to prevent needless accidents; and when they get their first owchie it's a big event filled with crying and hugs and kisses. We teach our children about safety and not to talk to strangers. There is a lot of worry on a parent to keep their child safe, but at this young tender age you feel that you can prevent most of them and if you can't they can hopefully be fixed with a little TLC.

When I look back now I see that these were the easiest of my child rearing days. Now when my child is hurt it's generally not something that I as a mom cannot 'fix'. I'm there for a hug and a shoulder to cry on when they come home from school crying because they've been called some terrible name. The world is a harsh place sometimes and it's hard to see your children subjected to the cruelty of others. Gone are the days when a simple 'band-aid' and a Popsicle could fix the problems. How do you explain to a teenager that they are beautiful, when the rest of the peers tell them otherwise - just to be cruel? I long for the days when the problems were a fall of a bike or a nightmare at 3 a.m.

After a lengthy discussion with some older ladies I know I came to the realization that I am not yet in the most difficult path of a parent. No, it would seem that it never ends for us parents. Eventually the children are older, teens and young adults finally - they are making their own decisions now. As a parent you are there to offer your advice and as good as it is and as mature as they are - they can now choose to listen or to do things their way.

How then, do you help the child who is now dealing with their own 'big problems', divorce, death of a child, financial hardships and more? I've watched some people dealing with these situations and from a parent's perspective - they feel totally helpless.

No what I realize now is that the worry of a parent is never ending and that the love you feel for them the first time you held them in your arms will never fade away. Instead just like the love I feel for my husband it grows stronger and stronger each day. No matter how bad things get or how horribly my teenage kids sometimes treat me, when they are hormones are raging - I LOVE them.

Being a parent isn't an easy task but as much as it is filled with worry and concern it is also filled with joy and happiness. You will be blessed with God's abundant blessings each and every day. From the excited joy of a three year old exclaiming at the site of a caterpillar to a teenager who wants to be with you on New Year's Eve having a family game night instead of out partying with friends.

I'm writing this after having a bad morning with my 13 yo dd, whose hormones were sky high and tempers flared and many hurtful things said. I have faith in God and in her that this too shall pass and one day she'll grow into a wonderful lady and perhaps a mother herself. I found this poem on the Internet and it is Author Unknown so I'll share it with you.

From God with Love

~Author Unknown~

Children are a blessing sent from God above
For us to care and nurture and most of all to love.

God calls us to be parents and gives us all the tools
And when we feel like giving up, our strength He will renew.

Children are a gift from God that He so freely lends
To make it through the childhood years, on Him we must depend.

He must have a presence, you see it must take three
The parents, child and Christ at the center to be a family.

From childhood days to a child full grown
Their joys and hurts are a parent's own.

Times of joy and laughter and those times of tears
The times spent raising a child are surely the best of years.

There comes that time in life when a child will leave the nest
We must send them off with love and a prayer and leave to God the rest.

We've have shared the Word of God, we've taught them right from wrong
Now it's time to let them go and let them write their song.

The faith instilled, the examples lived, and the lessons taught
All gifts that we've given our child, which will never be forgotten.

There are many paths a child can take, right or wrong will remain unknown
But rest assured that in the end, they all lead back to home.

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