The other day I blogged some about my eldest, now 10, and how she has been making some not-so-great choices lately. Choices that have hurt her and I both. And in some cases, others as well. I had reached a point of not knowing what to do, other than pray.
Well, come to find out, my daughter has been praying a lot too. And yesterday we sat and talked, really talked. And we cried, and shared, and even apologized to each other. And before bed last night, we sat and prayed, together.
In the afternoon hours, we both cried tears of pain. Tears of shame. But after we prayed together last night, I found myself fighting tears again, only to look up and see my daughter crying. I asked if she was okay. She answered with a nod as I wiped her tears. She told me it was a "good" cry this time. I knew exactly what she meant.
The healing process between us has begun, thank you God! We have made a pack to pray together several times a week. She got a book for her birthday we want to read through together after the start of the new year.
She's just a kid. She's going to make mistakes. She needs to learn from them. I believe she can do that. It's my job to lead her, not force her. I have to come to terms that she is going to make bad choices. Shoot, I'm an adult and I still do sometimes. That's part of life. My first priority has to be that she knows, even in those bad choices, that I still love her and am on her side. Then we tackle the problem, together.
I have to learn to come at her from a place of love, and not from a place of hurt.
She is my first, and unfortunately, this means I have no previous experience in the things that come up with her. It's our first time for everything with her. She knows this. And I'm thankful for her patience and forgiving heart and nature. When I have made a mistake, I am sure to admit it, and apologize for it. There ain't no humble pie like the one you eat when you have to apologize to your kids and admit you are wrong. It's not easy to do. But it's the right thing to do. How I can expect them to take responsibility for their actions, if I don't show them how to?
This week has definitely been a learning experience for us both. It's been hard on both of us. But the struggle has given way to some really awesome communication, which has lead to healing. It has opened both our eyes to things that we must work on and change. And in time, I believe we both will be better because of it.
Would I have ever asked for the events of these past few weeks to have taken place? HECK NO!!! But, out of it, something really good is blooming. A closer relationship with my daughter. And self improvement. Sometimes it takes something "not-so-good", to hold up that mirror we don't want to look into and see our own faults.
I'm glad that we could turn this around for the better. I'm thankful for answered prayer and God's grace in all of this. I'm glad He was able to point us in the path we needed to take. I'm thankful for His help. I can't do this alone. After all, my children are only really on loan to me. They're really His children. And I don't want to screw them up.
I am so very thankful for each of my children. They are my everything. And I'm thankful for the opportunities to grow and learn right along with them. What better way to lead than to show them? Yes we make mistakes. Mistakes aren't so bad as long as you learn from them. Mistakes may disappoint us, but they don't mean we stop loving each other. We must take responsibility for our choices and apologize.
I may not be the best mom in the world, or in the state, or even on my block. But I'm learning. And I love my kids more than life itself. And maybe the combination of love, and willingness to learn & change, can work together to make me a great mom someday. For now, I will settle for a good mom who loves her kids, and just keep taking this parenting thing one step at a time.