A is for Afraid.
I was afraid with each of my kids in very different ways. It’s a rite of passage I think. I heard somewhere that there should be a test for becoming a parent – much like a driver’s test. Somehow I think I would fail that test. Or I would ace it and do the opposite of whatever the “right” answer is.
One thing that has always helped me over come my fears is knowledge. I found out I was pregnant when I was 19. I had to breathe in a bag in the middle of the night. I woke up my roommates on accident and they thought someone had died. It was a fairly traumatic event. So after dumping my boyfriend (whom I later got back together with and then we broke up one final time about a year later) and moving back in my with parents I started learning. I let my mom take me to a Bradley Birthing class which – against all odds – convinced me that a natural childbirth and no drugs was the way to go. And I did it! I will forever be proud.
I had no clue how to be a parent so I took a few college classes. They were designed more for teacher wannabe’s but as a momma wannabe I learned a lot of great stuff. I still have the textbooks which helped me through each milestone till about 18 months.
Through all this I discovered a resilient young woman.
I’m still afraid. I have to constantly combat my worries with truths. For instance…
I’m afraid that Michael will grow up and decide to become a mormon like his step-mom. I’m not going to rip on the religion. People I know who are mormon are good and decent people. But I want more for my son. I want more for my kids. I want my kids to understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. I have never met a mormon who considers this a priority.
I’m afraid that Marie will never move out of my house. She has down syndrome and at 12 years old she struggles with basic math and self-help skills. How is she ever going to figure out laundry or how to cook herself some decent meals?
I’m afraid that Denai will grow up and have more regrets than she has toes and fingers. I’m afraid that she is going to have sex too young and get pregnant before she’s ready. Sound familiar?
I think I waste a lot of energy engaging in these thoughts. Has Michael rejected Jesus yet? Is Marie old enough to move out? Denai isn’t even a one-year old!
Yet I’m already painting a picture of their future with my fears.
Now that’s just nasty.
Here is the truth:
Michael is smart and curious about all things. He asks questions and enjoys picking what he sees as the most logical choice.
Marie has six years to learn how to make scrambled eggs and sort laundry. If it ends up taking a little while longer then that’s okay too. We will have kids in the house for a long time anyways!
Denai has her entire life ahead of her. Right now she is learning that it’s not okay to throw her food on the floor and scratch my face. For now, I will focus on that.
The truth is that as much as I screw up in my parenting ways, my kids will either turn out great or they won’t. God knows their hearts. Even when I don’t understand one bit about them, God does.