Tuesday, July 17, 2007

No one Ever said Life Would Be Easy.....

Dear Matty,
We do the best we can in any given situation, what is best for ourselves and our children. Each child views and comprehends life in their own way. The adage" out of the mouth babes" Children are not born to lie, they are taught to lie. So through the eyes of youth we see their reality as they view it, the innocence uncomplicated. The value of being a good listener is as important as being a good speaker.
On the main stage of life we have what we need to get through any given situation. But there are the visions of more, our personal needs, those of our children. It is not a easy situation for any parent who must surface from a divorce. Depending on each individuals needs, they have many obstacles to over come and it's not that the children are being overlooked in a situation, but that we can only do so much.
There are no easy answers because as similar as life may seem to each of us, it is very unique, as unique as each individual Yet it is the repetition of similarity of any given situation that pulls
us together and teaches us what road we shall travel next or how best we can travel it.
I looked back at my son who is now twenty five years old and there were situations that I was not so happy with in his childhood. I had three sons at the time, the children were 1 , 5 and 7 years of age. I can only tell you that life always seemed to be to be this huge struggle. What was meant to be a family outing stands out in my mind as a very sad memory. We were out on a picnic, the children excited carrying fishing rods and I was carry the baby supplies the picnic basket blankets etc. The little one needed to go the bathroom and I should have stopped what I was doing, but I continued on. My eldest was soon to be eight years old and his father yelled loudly give your mother a hand. He expected the children to fill in the position where I felt it was a fathers responsibility or a mother..I always was so tired... it was such the struggle. The boys didn't handle the situation as their father expected them too. They were so exited they wanted to run and play. He was old school their worth based on the duties fulfilled. We crossed many times on the issue of discipline. Was it discipline or abuse?He started to swing the rods at the children, move faster I told you to help your mother. The younger one jumped and caught the bruising of the rod, my oldest always seem to stand up to his father stood staunch without flinching and as I yelled for him to stop, I saw the rod whip him as blood ran down his thighs.
Situations like that were not everyday, there is rage and the calm, like a bad game. I never stood by and allowed my children to be abused and many times I stood between them. As more children came along I was now more aware and less likely to allow his violent outrage to touch the children. It was very much like a yo yo and up and down scenario.
I learned quickly that I had to defend my children, to protect them, I was their mother, home is one of comfort not of fear. The situations with the younger became more verbal then physical, I threaten to take the children and never look back.
I can remember the very first event I ever did, there we were my daughter and I for the first time out on our own. It was a wonderful mother daughter bonding. Out of the mouth of babes, " momma when are we going to have enough money for our own apartment. I don't want to go home." Each sell she counted the money, I tried to explain to her, this pays one month what will pay for another. She cried the whole trip home, she said I thought I'd miss the animals, she said I didn't miss anything. I wanted for my children to have the stability I did not, but at what price? Isolation is the tool of the controller, keep them away from people and cut off the outreach, no connection no help. You feel as if you have no where to turn. It took years for me to get beyond my own fears, it took the listening ear of a friend to help build my own confidence. I was forty eight years old when I finally stood up for myself and with outside help learned to drive and for the first time I now had a drivers license. It was one brick in the wall down.
No matter how much you try to hide from children, they know more then you can imagine. She is not only my daughter she is my best friend, and a God given gift. One day I said how did I end up so lucky to have you as a daughter and why this late in my life? She looked at me with that angelic smile of hers and she said, " because God knew you would need me now, as much as I need you" She is a child way beyond her age and I try not to rob her of that. I think at times we
are growing up together, she is teaching me more about life and myself then I ever imagined.
I think my two eldest children paid for my immaturity, as I did not know how to handle the situation. But strong you become and you realize how important it is to stand up for yourself and your children.. Perfect people, that just doesn't exist, we are just people. living learning and
experiencing life. But most of all with all my faults I wanted my children to know one thing and one thing above all I have always and will always love them.

There are many kinds of chains,
the worst are those that hold closed the mind.
There are many women closed off from sources of help, from a listening ear, from family, from self help programs, and then their are as many who just live in fear, afraid to make the move afraid of the consequences. It is not a issue of weakness or strength, it has to do more with filling in the missing pieces of the puzzle. We all learn at different paces, some sooner then others...

Out of the mouth babes,

My eldest son said " I thought we were the perfect family, any punishment I received I deserved. "
My second born said, " He is a old sick man"
My third born said, " That like pack wolves the eldest male controls the pack... "scary thought there.
My forth born, " visions of grandeur"
My fifth born said" you have two hands and I have two hands, that means you have four"
My sixth born " I don't like him, anymore then he likes me"

Six children, six different views.......

As I end this, I want to thank you for responding, I was touched Matty by your heartfelt response to a emotional and personal time of your life. It takes courage and love for oneself to
tread in untraveled waters. Every child views life from their perspective, a mother does what she thinks is best not for one child but for all the children. It is obvious your love for your children and the journey you accepted as you stood to make a choice for all involved. You should feel a sense of pride, for each of your children carries with them your love. We have a habit as mothers to compare our children one to the other, it's human nature... but look at is as more that each is walking their own path, choosing a direction. The beauty of Character is the diversity that surfaces. I just wanted to say there is a heavy burden placed on a mother who raises sons without a father figure. I said Lord what are you doing? I know nothing about raising boys. I taught them how to cook and a full range of household responsibilities, I taught them to see through my eyes, but how I wished they had a male mentor to teach them what a man should know. I remember when my first born went out on his own, he said Mum it's not like" the world according to Mother." I felt that I gave them my values of life, " treat those as you would like to be treated, show respect for your elders, what goes around comes around and
keep your nose clean and your zipper up. "

1 comment:

Matty said...

Thank you for that beautiful post. Yes, I agree, we all make our own path in life...and so must my sons.
I also learned how to drive at age 40..not for pleasure, but because I had no choice. I was very fortunate, I walked out with my sons when they were 8 @ 10....sold everything.....moved to a new city and started anew...and never looked back.
Now I'm raising my grandkids..with more knowledge than I had then...and more strength of character and much more self-esteem.
Yes, I did the best I could...'with the tools I had'...and now that I'm older, I have more tools and knowledge...so now I can make better choices.
I was 44 when I decided to go back to school and get my degree in Social Work. You're never too old to learn. I'm still learning from my sons...and also my grandkids.
It is sad that the kids must suffer for the sins of the parents. It always was and always will be.
Wishing you the best. Your posts are always thought-provoking. Have a good week!