For a number of years, I parented from a very broken place.
(I never realized the time was going by and that I couldn’t get it back.)
I was broken.
Not just kind of broken.
And yet I was the beacon for my children.
It wasn’t much.
But it was everything.
I’ve moved on from feeling badly about all that I did not do.
(That list is long, long, long, long, long, long, long.)
What I’m more amazed by, these days, is what I did do.
Even in the midst of the darkness I was in, I somehow managed to still parent my children’s souls.
It turns out that everything I ever believed in, from my heart, from my core, held true within me as a parent.
It was hard, near to impossible, to find groceries in my house at that time.
It was hard to find dinner, which was a surprise to me every single night for years that they needed it.
It was hard to find the carpet beneath the dishes, clothes, and life that littered our floors.
It was hard to even find me those days when I was working too much, and when I got home I wasn’t truly “there”.
It seems, however, that it was never hard to find my moral compass.
Morality would wake straight up out of me, from the depths of my being, if it was needed.
I would be in this murky fog and then WHOOMPH!, my morality would hand me the tools to guide my children.
My parenting path was nothing like I’d imagined. Nothing.
The dream and vision for where I thought we would go and how I thought we would get there turned into this weird, messed up, different path.
When I was broken what I physically and emotionally gave my children was so very lacking, so very often.
Yet my children are all I ever hoped they would be. They have surpassed my vision for who I thought they would become. I am humbled by who they are.
I see their kindness. I see their courage. I see their respect of self. I see their respect of others. I see them think for themselves. I see them open to criticism. I see them open to growth. To change. To difference.
I see that our family, so different from what I’d once dreamed of, is precisely as it should be.
And we are.
The four of us.
My three children and I.