Like most moms, I adore my kids. I love them all the same and differently. I love how each of them move in the world, treating others with respect, caring and doing no harm.
They are adults and except for one of them, as is common in this economy, are still needing or taking advantage of the help I can give in order to take the next step in life. I am so good with that. Honestly, having the two of them home with me for the last two years was life saving. I'm not sure who has helped who more?
Hopefully, I didn't hold on too tight but I cannot image going through what our family went through without them by my side. Many nights, just knowing there was someone else asleep in the house provided immeasurable comfort. It is not lost on me that it must have been so hard for them to watch me struggle to get back from zombie status to the world of the living; add on to that their own pain and the pain of watching their beloved father try to survive a mental illness that often times has tried to convince him to end it all. I am amazed at the graciousness they allotted for this flawed woman, as well as the compassion and tenderness they have shared with their father.
Kids 1, 2 and 3 were all home when the shit hit the fan. They watched as the swat team was called to get their father off of a roof and, eventually, haul the man that used to brush their teeth in his lap, brush their hair before school, read them bedtime stories and pray with them before sleep, was hauled off with hands cuffed behind his back. Child 4 was in Germany.....I cannot fathom how that must have been for her.....being in a strange country with a strange family all while her world, more than 5,000 miles away, was crumbling.
My hope for each of them is that they use this part of their lives to grow and learn instead of allowing it to handicap them. In my ignorance, my childhood experiences did not teach me but cause me to build a protective wall. I wish for each of them the ability to be vulnerable, to feel love and the ability accept love, embrace the knowledge that they are uniquely special and, most importantly, the realization that gratefulness is the key to true happiness.