We had a great day today. I left the house early to pick up my daughter. We went shopping for some items for her nursery and then some gifts and various other items. It was a really enjoyable day! As parents, some days we wonder if our relationship with our children will ever be a friendship. Those precious years when they are little and look to you for everything are so special, but they can be exhausting and trying. Then they begin to grow and try to find some independence. They reach the years between child and teenager when they are really trying the patience of everyone around them, but can still be absolutely charming! Along about the time they become a freshman in high school, things change, almost overnight! They can still be very charming, but they can also be sneaky, manipulative, and yes - sometimes downright cruel. It's during those days that you really begin to wonder about your job as a parent. Then - very gradually - things begin to get better again. Then it's time for them to leave home, either off to college or job and their own home. One of my favorite quotes from the movie, Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade is during the conversation between Indy (Harrison Ford) and his father (Sean Connery), as they are talking about their relationship over the years. The father tells the son "You left home just when you were becoming interesting!" Now I have always thought my children were interesting but I think the greatest compliment for a parent is when their child claims the parent as their best friend and mentor. If your child has told you they want to be just like you - you have been given a precious gift! We all want things for our children and quite often what we are or have done is not what we want for them. That is not our choice. They are telling us as parents, they appreciate and value the person we have been to them. This is spoken from the heart of a mother who stayed at home for a number of years as my children were growing up. The world largely looks on this group of women as martyrs, giving up EVERYTHING to stay home with their children. I actually felt that some of the time. I always wondered if I was doing the right thing for my children. Pshaw! The mothers who stay home with their children are the fortunate ones who get to be there for all of their child's firsts - first words, first steps, first day of school, first love, first fight. Those are things that can never be lived again. They are also memories that can never be taken from you! I did not do (nor did I ever believe I did) everything correctly for my children, but they knew we loved them and would always be there for them, that we were absolutely their biggest fans!
If you are a parent going through some of those more trying times, stay the course! Better days are ahead.