The most frustrating thing about parenthood is the fact that once the little darlings enter the world, you can NEVER get them off your mind. It’s like one dormant quadrant of your brain comes to life in brilliant, neon, pulsing color. We worry about them in the same way we must probe a throbbing tooth with our tongue, or pick at a scab on our knee. Parenting books should come with a warning label.
My five kids range from 19-26. for the most part, they are independent, responsible young people. Logic dictates that if you have five children and four follow a path highly acceptable to society, conduct their individual lives in a way that brings respect and honor to themselves and their family, are known to all and sundry as happy, generous, kind people, you should say you've done your parenting job well. That isn't how it works.
When only four of the five are doing well, there's another quadrant of your brain that springs to life, this one spewing steam and lava, spotlights crossing paths above it, a really mean guy yelling into a megaphone: "You've messed this one up! Come one, come all and see the disaster this couple has created!" I think I told you yesterday that the prodigal had returned home. Grandgirls mom is back and despite having spent the entire day with her, I can not figure out how she turned out the way she did. I can't figure out how her mind works, I can't decipher the truth from the lies that spew from her mouth. How do you know when T is lieing? Her mouth is moving...
My intelligent, internal woman berates me constantly for blaming myself, but when did she ever have a kid? As I recall, she was the one clamoring about "population control" back when I was wishing on every shooting star for a baby. Years of soul searching and rehashing always reveal the mistakes we made with all the kids, but "all" is the key word. There wasn't any thing we did as parents to push her into premarital sex, drugs and a tolerance for the most extreme kind of self-inflicted poverty and misguided devotion. Easy to say, but my protests are no match for that guy with the megaphone.