So I’m trying something new. Picking a subject at random that I seem to obsess about or fixate on, something that grips my imagination in compulsive and ugly ways, (I started with one of my secret obsessions.) I’ll write honestly without a lot self-editing or controlling “the message” to see what comes out. No answers. No over spiritualizing. Just the real, gritty, sometimes awkward me. I’m trying to push myself in my style to loosen up a little. Have you noticed that I take myself a bit too seriously? This is my second excursion into a different kind of real.
Parenting surely is the most difficult job I’ve ever had. Many times in a day I think “I am not qualified.” But it’s too late, for those regrets.
No one is qualified to be a parent, not really.
Yesterday, I was reflecting on our exceptionally verbal, strong as steel, at times tyrannical daughter who is so like my father! I just wanted to fall down on my knees, humbled by my own lack. Again, as if a prayer, whispering this time as a lament: I am not qualified to be a mother.
I went through most of my life in some strange, surreal auto pilot.
I went through forty years utterly afraid of life. I sometimes think back, strange as it sounds and wonder aloud how I even survived the catastrophes of living in our home. My father’s spirit and soul crushing rage destroyed me, my personality and I spent many years just grieving who I might be, might have been. That sort of grief is debilitating.
Oh there were moments, especially outside of home, where I found parts of myself. I loved my youth pastor; he listened to me and allowed for my incessant questions about the Bible. He listened to my ideas and fears. He never once yelled at me, or told me my sarcasm or sense of humor or quick thinking and verbal sparring was bad. He somehow validated me and I loved him.
But for the most part I went through my tens and twenties and thirties heart-sick, depressed, and afraid.
So when my daughter rages at me (I told you she is like my dad) or the world, or she stands up to me, or questions … every little thing, a small part of me is cheering inside!!
She is alive.
She is breathing, kicking and screaming, going into the world believing that her thoughts, her questions, her jokes, her ideas matter and for that I am so pleased.
She is alive and I am slowly coming alive too. I believe my father had to die for me to begin living. A new friend, after hearing about the childhood that I had said to me yesterday “It’s a wonder that I have any faith at all.”
I am simply grateful I am alive. Yes, this life of believing is really hard; harder for me than it seems to be for many people I know. I’ve come to accept and understand this to be a part of what makes me, me. And yes, this is something I embrace.
I may not be qualified, but I am grateful to be alive.