I don't write about my children a lot. I feel that they deserve a bit of privacy, or at least the right to tell the world their own stories. However, from time to time I can't help but mention something about them. Today is one of those days.
These days everyone seems to need a reason for having children. I've had parents tell me they spent years deciding to have their first child. They weighed the pros and cons and considered their lifestyle and budget...I don't think I ever gave it much thought at all. I grew up in a family that just expected that you would grow up and have children. That's what people did. My mother would have been appalled if I had sat her down and said, "Look, I don't think I'm going to have any children." I think the only thing that changed between my teenage fantasy years and my actual motherhood years was the number of children I had. My ancestors had six to twelve children. My mother had five. When I was fifteen I told everyone I was going to have a dozen children. I only had three.
I enjoyed my children most of the time. Anyone who tells you they enjoyed every blessed moment of their child's life is either a darn good liar or on some excellent medication. Yes, raising a child is one of the great joys of life. You celebrate their triumphs and accomplishments and bask in the sweet purity of their love. But anyone who has been around the block a time or two knows that your own child can also drive you nuts! There were times during the "I want it and I want it NOW" years when I thought I would die of exhaustion. There were times during the school years when I thought I would meet myself on the road. There were times when they were teenagers that I knew I was the biggest failure in the world and I would have gladly given them away to the next gypsy caravan passing through town. But somehow you make it through those years.
You make it through those years and find that you suddenly have adult children who can carry on an intelligent conversation, earn a living, have their own children, and more importantly do things for you! LOL Which brings me to the point of today's blog. My children are great adults. I'm very proud of the way they have turned out and I feel blessed to have raised them. I don't pretend to take credit for everything- I really do think it "takes a village" and many people have played a role in raising my children. But I'm certainly glad I was along for the ride.
I think what is surprising about raising children is how different they can be- not only from each other, but from what you thought they would be. My children know things and do things that amaze me. And they enrich my life much more now than when they were sweet children. Each of them is passionate about something. Each of them has a group of good friends. Each of them is self-sufficient. They call me for advice, but they also give me advice, good advice. If I ask for help they are ready to give it, and usually without complaint. My oldest daughter is always ready to edit my writing for me. My younger daughter makes my wonderful blog banners. My son is my handyman for anything from a leaky toilet to a contrary computer. And my children are great listeners. They may not always agree with me, but they listen to me ramble on...and most of the time they don't groan.
If you still have younger children, believe me, the best is yet to come.