Wednesday, August 22, 2012


When stepping back for a moment to review the past many years of parenting (25), certain themes emerge. If I was forced at this moment, to come up with a short list of what I hope to have taught our boys, this is what immediately comes to mind: 

Be brave. Look forward. Attempt to see the 'big picture'. Value education and life long learning. Know that it's better to have zero good friends for a couple of months than to have ones that aren't right for you right now. It's your life, there are twenty-four hours in a day and you get to choose how to spend them. Have compassion....always. Trust your own ability to make a decision.

I realize this list could and should be (and really is) much longer..........but I said a 'short' one and the above is what surfaced during the few minutes I sat with my morning cup of coffee. I know that I'm speaking as just one member of a parenting partnership doubt that if Marc were writing this he would have his own thoughts and additions.  I also know that each item could be the topic of an entire set of essays, but I'll save that for possible future posts.

I didn't step through the door of parenthood knowing how to be one, let alone a 'good' one. I'm pretty sure no parent ever has. Relying on well written books, friends and a spouse who share similar values, and an amazing set of parents of my own has helped immensely, but it's largely a 'learn as you go' venture, don't you think? Or maybe I should say adventure, which the dictionary defines as excitement, thrill, risk, uncertainty and apt description of many parts of the parenting journey. 

I will say that I have learned as much or more about how to be a parent from each of my boys as I did from any of the above resources. They taught me how to parent them; showed me that they are unique individuals and needed me to raise them as such. If somehow I didn't get it right the first time, they would be certain to circle back around to help me understand again......and again and again just to be sure I did. So as they leave this house, and then come back and leave again, most times for parts and experiences unknown, I can only hope that we've all taught each other what we need to know. That we keep sturdy, cohesive, respectful, strong and loving ties wherever any of us ends up.

This week one of our boys began a new job and showed us the view of downtown Seattle he can see from his desk. One bought a one-way ticket to New York and trusts he will have found a place to live by the time his plane lands. (I believe he will.) The third left to go camping and hiking in a national park (where I happen to know there are bears) without telling us just which part of this enormous park he planned to be in. He saw wildlife and waterfalls and rocky cliffs. He visited a glacier. He and his friends stuck their heads into an aqua lake floating enormous chunks of ice. They all gave us a call or sent us texts or showed us pictures. They each continue to sculpt their futures by recognizing desires and passions, and then using those to formulate words that turn into actions. They trust themselves and their decision making. I am so proud of them for this.

There have been moments in the past couple of years when I prematurely thought the parenting part was just about finished; that since the five of us are now all adults, much of the job is done. But now, especially now, I know that it's not. Even at my age......even at the stage of life that I'm at...... I continue to look toward my own parents: For sage advice. For the value of their lives experiences. For sturdy and strong ties.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Warmly, Margaret

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