legacies

Author: angiem, 03 08th, 2009

I start trembling at the very thought of the unplanned and the unknown, but inevitable and unstoppable force with which parents leave traces in their children that, like traces of branding, can never be erased. Pascal Mercier

It seems like my little baby boy was just born, we had just been discharged from the hospital and were on our way home, the car packed with all types of necessities, our heads crammed with all kinds of practical advice we were already forgetting. Yet, in less than a week he’s turning nine. And in some ways, despite all our reading and all my prayers and all the advice we even now receive, we’re still just as clueless as we were then, and just as fearful of doing something that will scar them forever.

When I was young my grandmother used to say that children are our inheritance from the good Lord. As we receive them into our families, we inherit their dreams and their futures as well, neither of which we should take lightly. Now, fully an adult and a parent as well, I understand the magnitude of her words.

Responsibilities come and go, but this is one that stays with us. Years and years of preparing them for adulthood, making mistakes along the way, learning together (in my case, at least), yet knowing there’s nothing arbitrary about the values we try to instill in them. We hope to infuse their life with meaning and with joy. We try to be good examples, yet remain true to ourselves. And we get tired along the way, and wish to just give in and let things be.

There are inherent risks in all we do, in life itself. Sometimes the most we can offer is emotional safety. Because life nonchalantly goes on in it’s own way in a blatant disregard to our opinions and wishes, our duty to our children’s future is so vital and so much more rewarding than we can even anticipate.

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2 Responses to “legacies”

  1. Daniela Says:

    Thank you for sharing; I found it touching and sweet - from the memory of driving home from the hospital to the glance across the ottoman. I can totally understand feeling too tired to discipline your son. It’s the reason I preferred teaching high school as opposed to elementary. While I adored the kids, the task of explaining/ discipling was painfully exhausting for me. I would come home and sleep until the evening.

    “Not long after, it dawned on me that unless I grow a backbone and stand firm on my own opinions and decisions, my son would still be disappointed.”

    While I may be single (without children), my faith gives me a lot of insight into parenting. This is because I am both a child and a mother; a mother as a grown child. I am able to nurture spiritually, in other words, because I have been nurtured by the perfect parents; the Lord.

    The most and best we can do is be a model. I often would imagine the Lord when I wasn’t sure of what to do. The more I become assimilated with him fear subsides; inter- and intrapersonally.

    This is the confidence and peace of mind you could have as a parent knowing your son will picture, remember and think of you in times he will question, himself, even as you are now. He WILL still be disappointed; but not because of your insufficiency as a parent. But rather because of your inability to be more, than you or anyone can be, for another.

    Which leads us back to ourselves…

  2. Camelia Lupas Says:

    So well written…. They say the hardest job ever is being a mother. I think you’re a great mother and only human, and it is ok and also important for children to see that weaker side of us as well… Otherwise those standards they need to aspire to live up to would seem impossible, failing is good cause it’s a part of the learning process. It’s what we do when we are weak and fail that is important for children to see… It’s the getting up, stronger more determined, wiser. I’m sure it’s hard for a parent to let their children see this they feel they have to be strong in their childrens eyes, but I think this is where children learn one of the most important lessons in life…. Turning your failures into success and identyfing/using your weaknesess as an opportunity to grow.

    to grow.

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