My children were beautiful, big and perfect when they were born, but they soon began crying for every little thing. They were amazing to watch while they were sleeping, so peaceful, but often awoke in the middle of the night demanding to be fed or needing a diaper change or just some loving attention. As a young parent, I didn’t know how to prepare for their second and third year of life when I thought their job description was to cause parental mental disorder. Starting school was happy and sad as I watched them carry their first backpacks. A whole new world of problems surfaced with selfish desires, comparisons, insecurities and inadequacies. The questions were endless and the needs for more clothes, soccer equipment, extra money for this and that were insatiable. Middle school and music, friends and styles and first loves were more than one could possibly plan or prepare for. If all that wasn’t enough, high school came with the battle of the wills, the “why not, everyone else is!” statements, raised voices, driving lessons, more raised voices, attitudes, incompatibility, that awful “whatever” word, first jobs, more clothes, more money and more demands.
And, you know what? Never once did I want to divorce or even separate from my children. They were my children and I loved them no matter what. Most days I was extremely proud and some days emotionally spent and discouraged. There was no plan B, we would make it as a family and I (we) would raise our children to the best of my (our) ability. I would do my best to be patient, respond correctly, teach, pray for and with, correct, protect and direct. Divorce? Not an option. I would see them through college and walk them down the aisle. I would believe in their financial skills even after a terrible mistake. I would give my life for them. There was no parenting manual; some issues never resolved; there was always some growing up to do. There was no calling it quits, never would I lose hope and stop believing for the best. They were mine and I was responsible, until death do us part.