Lyrics from Mame’s “If He walked into my life”

Did I stress the man(woman)?

And forget the child.

And there must have been a million things.

That my heart forgot to say.

Would I think of one or two,

If he (she) walked into my life today.

The haunt of parenting is “did I do the right thing?”  Did I show enough love, encouragement, support, teach the child the best way to handle life.  Time flies and life’s situations steal from the childhood years.  So much to do in so little time; and no parent does a perfect job.  The questions of a grown child can make you defensive if you don’t realize maybe the questions are so they can improve or continue what you did right.  When a child questions a parent, old fears return to a parent: Am I guiding my child to do right?  Will they remember the times when by accident or by the grace of God, the situation turned out good, or better than it could have?

My years in a medical field taught me that it is a miracle any of us makes it to adulthood physically.  My years as a parent taught me it is a miracle any of us become somewhat mentally/ emotionally functioning adults.  Being honest with your child is a tricky thing, once you start down the path, you have to realize there may be spots you would rather not visit.  And when you do, how much will benefit the child?  The first time through a problem sometimes is clouded by the parent’s distractions and frustrations so the decision may have been wrong.  Sometimes it works out okay, sometimes not.  Many of us have wished our children came with a manual of instructions.  One problem would be to use the right manual with the right child, because each one needs their own.  The end product hopefully is one a parent will be proud of raising.  Truthfully, it takes an act of God to raise a child in this world.  I have observed this much from myself and “good” parents: each child needs one-on-one time with parent, get to know the child and let the child know parent not as buddy to them.  Just talk about each one’s perspective of the problems like discipline, dreams, aspirations, why people can or should treat others well, and how to understand things in this world.  These things are done over the years, and start as a teacher-guide and grow into a parent-friend confidant in child’s adult years.  A parent’s fear is that our child will have the same problems we had and they will not handle it any better or worse than we did, and the fault is ours.  My experience, both personal and as observer of other parent/child relationships, is most people are amazingly resilient.  The bottom line for me is and always has been, I love my child and have always wanted the best for them, even when I was upset with them because their behavior made me think, do and/or say otherwise.  Maybe now is the time to ask for forgiveness for the times I failed to do the right thing, uhmm?