A few years ago I was having a conversation with my oldest son, Nick. I was apologizing for not seeing some of what should have been obvious signs in his life that led to his spiral with alcohol. I don't remember my exact words at this point, but I am sure I said something about knowing how distracted I was at times with his younger siblings and wishing I would have noticed the struggles he was facing sooner. I really felt, in some way, I was partially responsible for his drinking. And, the god's honest truth be told, I will likely always feel that way.
During our conversation though, he stopped me and said, "Mom, never apologize. I am grateful for all the experiences I have had because they've made me who I am today." His statement struck me when he said it, and has stayed with me since because (a) I am grateful he feels that way, and (2) I absolutely agree with him.
As I walked the dogs the other morning, I was pondering yet again how the events in my life have really been a blessing to me. Pregnant teen, welfare recipient, ending a dangerous relationship, getting married, early babies, moves across country, multiple moves within neighborhoods, son who has battled addiction, having to walk away from our home...all things I would truly consider blessings.
So, there they are, a list of my "imperfections". But within that list are the most important lessons of my life. They are the situations which created who I am today.
And, quite frankly, I really REALLY like who I am today.
There are a lot of families who operate under the guise their life is "perfect". I believe the white picket fence syndrome of my youth has turned into the wrought iron front door syndrome of today...
I have long since learned a very brutal life lesson: you cannot be "real" in the outside world if you can't be real with yourself.
I recently came up with a new motto: I may mess up, but I don't give up!
This is the story of my life.