Raising three children as a single parent has many challenges, successes and adventures. These challenges, successes and adventures also change year after year. Depending on the ages of the children and the circumstances we found ourselves in. Facing some of the hardest issues head on I was able to successfully navigate my little ones into adulthood.
One cold, sunny, winter afternoon I was driving my kids to rent some movies. My youngest daughter wanted something about animals, my older daughter wanted a princess movie and my son was hoping for a Scooby Doo movie he hadn’t already seen more than three times. There was the usual he touched me and she won’t scoot over whining going on and then suddenly the car went silent. Some how I had missed the THREE protesters standing on the corner of the Planned Parenthood building. Some how I was distracted for just a few seconds and missed the AWFUL posters my children, all under the age of 11, were now staring at. One of them asked a question of what are they doing, why are they holding posters with dead babies on them, why mom, why? I asked them not to look and then explained abortion to their young minds and hearts. My heart was broken for their lost innocence. Thank you Planned Parenthood Protesters for helping me teach my children about the ugliness that is in this world, and yes that includes the posters you were so kind to share with them.
Flash forward a couple of years and to another drive. This time it was on the way to school after a rushed morning of finding shoes, fixing wiggly socks and finding our other missing book. The kids pilled into the car and off we went. The previous day they had spent some time with their father. I don’t ask a lot of questions when they come home, really just did you have fun and are you hungry. So I never really know what they were doing during those visits. I now know where they stopped because one of them asked me about a building we drive by every day. A building that is in a commercial/industrial part of town. A small building with covered windows, nondescript door and only one sign perpendicular to the roof that says XXX. Apparently their top notch father stopped here the day before. He just needed to run a movie in, and they all waited in the car for a few minutes. More innocence robbed from my children thanks to a thoughtless adult.
Apologies on the other hand are something they have been learning about their whole lives. They have also learned the art of how to accept an apology versus just forgiving someone because it is the right thing to do. Just because you accept an apology does not mean you forgive the person that did you wrong. It also means if you hurt someone else and need to offer an apology that your apology may or many not be what helps. Don’t apologize because I said so instead apologize because you feel it is the right thing to do to make the current situation better. Don’t apologize because someone else has a different view point than you. Instead remind them that it is ok to be different.
Raising my children to adulthood has been my biggest challenge and the biggest reward as well. I look forward each day to see how they manage and succeed in adulthood and use the skills they learned growing up.