My teenager will be graduating from high school in the Spring of 2017. Of course I am thrilled about her reaching this milestone. But, along with that excitement I carry a heavy heart. Looking back over the years I am acutely aware of the fact that I didn’t live up to my end of the bargain as her mommy. And, I DO NOT get to press rewind for a second chance.
People have always said that I favored my middle child and was extremely over protective. But, in reality I think I was dealing with the guilt of her being the child that grew up during some of the most tumultuous times of my life.
My fear of financial instability, and honestly, my type A personality, made me a workaholic as she was growing up. My strong desire to have a nuclear, “Huxtable like” family, led to me staying with a man that was physically and mentally abusive, far longer than I should have.
It wasn’t until I left my marriage, and, me and the girls moved into our humble home in Windsor that I realized that I really missed the mark. Actually, I knew I was missing the mark for years. So, I guess my move forced me to face my reality. For years, as a way of coping with my failing marriage, I worked tirelessly to create a comfortable, cozy home for my girls to retreat to. Placing a band-aid over the gaping stab wound, I hoped a beautiful home would make up for all of the arguing and fighting my children were exposed to.
When we moved, my teenager, who is known for being slightly territorial (mommy code word for selfish), announced that her Xbox One did not have to go in her room. She was okay if it was in the living room and she was completely fine with her little sister playing it all she wanted to. Yes, I know that sounds so incredibly simple to you. But, it came as a complete shock to me and my little one. We actually stood there in silence for a minute, wondering if we had heard her correctly or, if this was some imposter, impersonating my teenager. When I finally picked my mouth up off the floor, I thanked her and acknowledged the kindness she was exhibiting. However, I was silenced again when she said, “I am finally in a place that feels like home to me.” It was at that point that I was forced to face reality, all of those years of decorating did absolutely nothing to prevent or repair any damage that was being done to my kids as they were being raised in a volatile household.
No, I DO NOT GET a do over. But, each day that we wake up is another opportunity for me to value my time with my girls and surround them with unconditional love. So, I have decided to spend a little less energy on waiting for a better and brighter future, and a little more energy on enjoying the present time that I have with them. Despite our material setbacks, our home is full of love, peace, and happiness right now! And, right now, that is all that matters!!!!
Peace and Love, TRB