My parents often make choices that I just don’t understand. Like, for instance, why my mother choices to disappear in the times that I need her most, or my father’s decision to begin using drugs in his 40’s. What makes it even more challenging to comprehend, is that my grandparents were nothing like that!
My grandparents, both sets of them, made the choice to step up in my parent’s absence, and take care of me like I was their own. My maternal Grandmom and Pop-Pop, were less physically nurturing than the other pair, but they made sure that I always had everything that I needed. From boxes of gifts at Christmas time, to cash just because for shoes or school trips, my mom’s parents were definitely there for me. My dad’s parents, old fashioned country folks, took care of my emotional well-being, and physically cared for me on a day to day basis. It was in their home that my values were shaped.
I’d always vowed to myself that I would never be the type of parent that my mom and dad are/were. When I was pregnant, I wondered a lot about whether or not that was realistic. Could I go through my entire life without once disappointing my daughter? Being a good parent take more than just choosing to be a good parent. I mean, no one is perfect. I was bound to fail, right?
Now that I’m a mom, I recognize the choices that I have each and every day. Choices that will can either enhance or take away from the life that Ayva and I have. Sometimes, it’s not about what I want, but about what we need. I can choose to be miserable and focus on the things that I don’t possess, or the places I didn’t get to go, or the things that I can’t do…or I can think about how blessed I am for what I do have.
I choose to be a great mom. I choose to create a life for my child that is full of rich experiences, positive interactions and love.
I choose to be here.
This post was inspired by The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillipp Sendker. When Julia travels to Burma to search for her missing lawyer father, she discovers much more than she expected. Join From Left to Write on February 1 as we discuss The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own.