Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Monday, July 28, 2008

Memories fade.

I can barely remember what it is like to be pregnant, and I only gave birth 7 months ago this very day (happy 7 months doll!) You would think I would be able to recall the condition, but I can't. Not very specifically anyway. Sure, I have a vague recollection of the aches and pains. I know I wasn't overly fond of being "with child." I remember that I did my fair share of grumbling. I know I felt tired. But now that the weight is gone, the heartburn no longer keeps me awake at night, the hormones aren't raging (to the same degree!), it's not so easy to conjure up the exact feelings I spent 45 months experiencing in the past 7 years. My memory has already faded. Just as it's difficult for me to accurately recall pregnancy, I doubt that parents of adult people can accurately bring to mind what it was like to parent young children. Not specifically. Not the actual morning, noon, and night and all the hours in between....every meal, every tantrum, every shopping adventure, every sibling dispute, daily grind. They may not remember the times of doubt or concern that can burden a parent. The wondering....if they're doing the right thing about a certain situation, how to best handle tender hearts, when to teach delicate subject matter, how to instill confidence without self-centerdness, the way it feels to have youngsters misbehave in public, how to encourage a child to develop their strengths and deal with their weaknesses, to accept differences in others, the patience that must be summoned at any time of the day or night to deal with particular the child you're butting heads with....

Kids grow up and move out, leaving an empty nest and parents with much more freedom on their hands. They have fulfilled their (physical) responsibility and they can move forward, onto the next stage, with their memories of raising young ones. Life has a way of going on and other things fill in the gaps the children leave behind and it all changes.

Yet, it is awfully common to hear the phrase, when my kids were little......

We never did this....we always did that....our kids just knew better....we simply wouldn't allow that....

Maybe that's the case. Fine. Every parent gets their own turn to do it their own way (within reason and the confines of the law : )

It appears notions of parenthood may grow more fair with time and distance. The judgement seat can become a comfortable throne from which to view younger people raising their families.

It's easy for all of us to judge, as an authority of what we've already lived through because we've been there and done that, but what may need to be taken into account is....memories fade....

The majority of us parents are doing the very best we can to do what is right for our beloved kiddos...and we're probably already keenly aware of our own flaws.

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