Emma, my 17 year old daughter, told me recently that she feels like she had a great childhood.
She didn't even say it because she wanted something or because I had a bad day, she seemed sincere!
She talked at length about how some of the stories she's heard about hard times we had are lost on her; she doesn't remember things that way. She doesn't remember the fights her dad and I had. The times we moved didn't leave lasting scars. The clothes from garage sales didn't make her an outcast. The times I had to write papers all night while she and her brother watched t.v. didn't make her feel unloved.
HALLELUJAH THANK THE LORD
I'm sure there are some negatives there somewhere. But overall she felt loved and hapy. And isn't that all that counts?
Maybe she'll tell a therapist one day about some time I didn't listen or said the wrong thing, or her dad did something wrong. But this day, but she had an open audience in me, willing to take on any wrong I'd committed, even with my objections that things didn't go smoothly... yet she insisted. She had a good childhood.
Everyone's perception of a "good childhood" differs, I'm sure. But what matters is MY KID'S perception.
Pinterest didn't exist. I didn't make crafts for her classroom. I didn't throw lavish parties. We didn't go on spring break and fall break vacations. She didn't get each toy she saw on t.v. and asked for. But she's happy with her childhood.
The trials we face as kids and adults shape us. Things my mom went through, I also went through, in different ways, and I learned. I'm sure Emma has lessons learned that she doesn't even realize yet. Trials and troubles are good. But at the end of the day- if you see the good in things, you are much better off.
That conversation was a cherry on top of a lovely experience raising this young lady. She's had experiences as a teen that left us both changed,but she has come out on top. She is smart, mature, caring, and kind. And if there would have ben a list of characteristics I'd hope for my girl when she was an infant, those would be the ones.
Feeling blessed is not an adequate description of how I feel. This girl, this life, is more than I hoped for. Love.