If I were to write a parenting guide, the first sentence would be something like this:
What were you thinking?
Haven’t you heard of birth control?
Geez, you’d think I have had a tough time raising my children…how about this:
Fasten your seat belt! From this point forward, you may think you’re in control, but you are not. You, my dear friend, are a guide on someone else’s fantastic voyage!
I say this because I’m the type of parent who always wants the answers, always wants to get it right for my children. Every parenting manual I’ve ever read contradicts the other one. Some of them were downright dangerous. I remember our pediatrician throwing one of the books away!
So what’s a super nervous parent to do?
Our minds naturally want to categorize our children:
This one’s a screamer
This one’s a brat
This one will be in jail before long
What happens when we do this is we leave no room for surprises.
A miracle has been happening in our house. And it only happened because of the ongoing hard work of our youngest with her in-home therapists. It’s not what you think…but it can be summed up like this:
The child I always knew, has come to the surface. There she sat at the dinner table cracking jokes, turning the tables on her big brother. It was astounding. It was fresh. It was such a lovely moment (except for her brother!) that I’m still laughing about it.
During this season of Thankfulness, I am incredibly grateful for the outside resources that led us to this place we are right now. I’m grateful for my family, for flexible thinking, for the ability to look for rainbows and expect a pot of gold instead of a storm. Some of you may understand this, others may not – and to those who don’t, I would say, be grateful for that.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change my life for another one for anything. This is the first time in years I can honestly say that.
To those of you who are in the midst of struggle, I would say keep fighting. Find your resources. Don’t take it personally. And finally, allow your child to grow.
I’m not naive enough to think our road is always going to be easy. There will be plenty of storms ahead, I have teenagers for crying out loud! But at least we know the direction we’re heading is a good one.
It’s not what you think… it’s better.
As I’m working on re-writes of Sweet Life of Dead Duane this week, that line made me laugh…
“Good job!” said Dead Duane.
“It’s not what you think,” said Samantha.
Don’t worry, you’ll understand when the book comes out!
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