My son called me tonight. That in itself is not unusual, we talk…… a lot. We live in the same city but do not see each other daily, some times not even weekly. He is a young married man and I work full time and still have my youngest daughter I am helping guide through life and my older daughter is a college student living at home as well. We are all busy. Tonight my son and his spouse had a conversation about their childhoods. My son realized how different they grew up. They are from different financial and family backgrounds.
He called to tell me he didn’t realize the sacrifices I made for him and his sisters until tonight. He made a list of the things I “gave” up for them. The list in his eyes was a long one. He made references to me eating “less then” quality food so they could have the “good” stuff and others about how “much” I worked when they were younger.
I was silent for most of this phone call. I didn’t know how to respond to what he said. I have never felt like I sacrificed for my children. Not the way my son feels I did. I made the choice, sort of, to have children. I didn’t choose to do it alone but that is what happened. I believe in supporting my children and helping guide them through the world. Yes it is true they did not have the name brand clothes or all of the newest toys but they did have love and family. My memories are full of the four of us doing stuff together. Playing board games, watching movies, cooking and eating together. Didn’t matter what we did as long as we were together. We made lots of free day adventure trips to the public library and to the park to feed the ducks.
I tried to explain to him I didn’t feel like I sacrificed. What I feel is I made the choice to be present in their lives and give them the best of what I had to give them and fortunately for them time is FREE. I also told him that all these “sacrifices” I made also provided me with feelings of gladness because I provided something for my children. They are my greatest joy, forever and always. It has been my privilege to be part of their lives, especially during those “difficult” teenage years. Considering my kids are great communicators we really did not have a lot of the teenage problems that some families deal with. I think it helped that I was one of those AWFUL teenagers and I knew what to watch for. It also helped that my children are very close in age and very close emotionally to each other. That translates to “Don’t make me mad or I am telling!”.
My son sounded sad throughout the whole phone call. Nothing I said seemed to convince him that I had no regrets. Well not many regrets. I do feel had I not tried more than once to make it work with their father their lives would have been filled with more love and less dysfunction. If given the chance I would do it all over again, for my three amazingly awesome children. The ones that will make an impact in every life they come in contact with.