Children and Disappointment

meditativeecstasy
For those of you who celebrate the Easter holiday- Happy Easter! Short, little blog today about something that happened yesterday. My husband, stepkids and I went shopping. It’s a big deal for us, as we live out in the middle of nowhere. We went in order to purchase my stepdaughter some new jeans. She is at the age where on-line shopping simply is not going to cut it given how much her body is changing.

During the day, my stepson began to look more and more dejected. He managed to mope and drag his feet, slowly walking 15 yards behind us, through an entire wing of the mall. Although he had been allowed to purchase one small treat, he wanted more. His moping and feet dragging were designed to clearly convey how we had failed him, in case the tears and pleading had been lost on us.

My husband was very concerned stating that “Henry” (not his real name 🙂 ) seemed so disappointed.

Yes, “Henry” was disappointed. But, I pointed something out to my husband. Our job as parent and stepparent was not to raise two children who never experience disappointment. Our job as parent and stepparent was to raise children to grow up understanding how to handle disappointment.

A wonderful gift we can give our children is to help them understand they are not the center of the world. Life provides and life disappointments. A person of awareness and grace (a hope I my stepkidds will be) is able to handle both with a sense of compassion and understanding.

Legacies…Handle with Care

In the wave pool at Mandalay Bay on vacation, I was so close to breaking down in tears. I do not know why. Perhaps it was the lifeguard having to correct me in where I was standing- I was to be on the sidewalk or fully in the water- not the ankle-deep level I had chosen for myself. The world spun off this simple comment, and I thought to myself, “I can’t do this anymore”.

Back on the beach- safely in the proper location- I thought of my mother. She suffered severe depression for a decade. She had contemplated suicide several times. My mom was eventually able to pull herself out of this depression, much to her credit. But, I will always remember that time and wonder about the legacies we all end up living.

Reading another’s blog this a.m. helped me to realize how much we can be pulling along, deep within ourselves. I have found the best way to handle such legacies is prayer and a willingness to explore the feelings and emotions attached. For me, it means looking at what it meant to be a child with someone wanting to kill themselves. How did this affect my level of trust? Also, surprisingly, my belief that I can “fix” it all. My mom often confided in me, and used me to help her with her depression. This lead to a false sense in me that everyone’s problems were mine to take on and that the solutions were within me.

I wonder about the legacies of others. Who is living now with a sense of unworthiness or unlikablity simply because someone tried to pass this on to him or her long ago? As I have gotten older, I realize how much help we may need as we deal with such legacies, and how much patience and love we must be willing to give ourselves.

Being Clean

At years 30, or was it 40?
My mother quit –
living and life

She took up residency
upon back, in bed
for a decade

Dark, except TV light

TV light is not
real light and
Depression is not
real living

We had moments,
holiday celebrations.

Other families have
crest and emblems,
We had motto, during the
depressive years-

“Life sucks, then you die”-

A stake through the heart of
Every greeting card claim

Blame was not as forthcoming,
as confusion,
What sets one’s living back?

She was saved by cleanliness.
Her mental faculties hinged upon
not making a mess.

Our home growing up
was a testament to this belief.
Later, it became her profession
in the home of others.

She told me suicide
was an option, except
it would leave a mess.

Unsure, was I,
to laugh or to cry
at how death may play
out our lives.

Some may see her,
Flat upon back, and think
Mid-life crisis-ing

I would think
“land of the living”
And
“we should not judge the trying.”