The Value in Parenthood

Sometimes things happen to your loved ones that make you sit back and reflect upon your own life. Even though I am fully aware of the way that things can change at a moment’s notice – when something unexpected happens, I am still always emotionally blown away.

My maternal grandfather, Papa, is currently in the hospital – dealing with some pretty daunting medical issues that arose after what was a seemingly normal medical procedure. Things suddenly became scary and hopeless.

And while I don’t want to dive into the specifics of that situation, because it is still on going – I just wanted to bring it up, so that these musings didn’t seem so vague. Because, let’s be honest vague blogging has got to be worse than vague Facebooking. Right??

So – if you’re interested…or curious…I thought I’d let my thoughts spill out into a blog post. 😉

Anyway, this situation caused me to think about him – and his life – and my memories of him – and the way that I perceived him. My relationship with him. Which led me to thinking about my own parenthood. And my own children. Thinking about the way that they perceive me and how that will change over time. I thought about how, as a parent, we do our best to do our best for our children. We want to be able fulfill all their needs and wants. We just want to be able to do it all for them, which is an all consuming task. The thought of not being able to do that can keep you awake at night or cause a hideous panic to rise within you so that you throw caution and good logic to the wind while just trying to make something happen for your child.

I just got to thinking about all that there is involved in being a parent. And all the things I try to do and say and demonstrate. I thought about the things I feel like I’m succeeding at, and of course, my mind began to dwell on my own perceived failures. And so, then I just thought about how grateful I am to have those two little babies in my life. How honored I am to be called their mom. I thought about all the value that they add to my life. The immense value that they give my life.

And because I was thinking about life and death in relation to parenthood – I thought about my children’s lives after I’m no longer here. I hope that they have memories of me. I hope that they have happy memories. Sad memories, Funny memories. Frustrating memories. Light hearted memories. Heavy memories. Beautiful memories. Ugly memories. Silly memories.

Memories that bring value to their life.

Above all, I realized, I want to add value to my children’s lives. Because, you can do and say all that you want. You can impress upon your children to think this or do that. But you can’t control them. You can’t completely shape the person that they will become. Or the way that they think. You can’t expect to always be a part of their lives just because you are their parent. You can’t assume that what you do for them will be perceived the way you intend it.

I just hope that however they look back on the way that I impact their lives – whatever light they see it in – I hope that I add value to their lives. I hope that my impact whether it becomes positive or negative to them – is still valuable. I hope that what I do has some kind of tangible value for them.

Parenthood is such a tricky and risky business. Parenthood in all forms. And it makes me emotional. And the thought of the loss of a parent heightens those emotions.

As a parent, you can’t do it all. You can’t always do or say the right thing. Sometimes you may think you’re doing something right…but it ends up being wrong. Either way, I think that we should strive for the valuable thing.