The Only Things I Did
As my children grew up I never would have thought that they would end up being the persons they are today. I really didn't have much expectations as to who they would become as adults, my only hope was that whatever the outcome was they would end up being good citizens and above all happy within their own skin. I didn't want them to find happiness by being with another person, but just happy being who they were. Many moms have expectations as to school, or music, or sports, whereas none of this mattered to much to me.
During my early stages as a parent I read a couple of books on child rearing, wanting to become the best mom ever. Along the road, I discovered that a book wasn't going to help me because after reading some chapters I felt overwhelmed. Since then I've only followed my gut most of the time. One thing that hasn't changed much was the fact that I always listen to them even if I don't agree or understand their views . At this point you may be curious to what kind of persons may have resulted out of such simple expectations. So, here it goes....
I ended up with a daughter that doesn't know how to be compassionate from afar (like many of us), but a dangerously hands on one. Why dangerously??? Easy, she's an activist, a modern day crusader. Being one of her latest but not last , immigration rights. I fret sometimes about the people who surround her and seeing her face in newspapers and the news doesn't make me happy. Precisely at this very moment, she's in Atlanta waiting for her connecting flight to D.C. to attend this Wednesdays Immigration rally. She's part of an interfaith committee that will lobby for what they believe are better immigration laws. She's working with Southside Presbyterian Church as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV). Not only does she go head on, but also hands on, which sometimes makes me feel uneasy. As a child I knew she was the protestor of the three, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that she would be who she is today. She is a dreamer, and like most dreamers she will always want to try to make the wrong right, in a world that I'm not sure can be fixed. Yet no matter what, I will always support and be there for her as long as I live.
As to my two sons (they are only one year and two months apart), they have grown up to be two outstanding young men. Both have different perspectives on life. One is a Biotechnology major and the other is a Psychology major. One faces Science to understand the world and the other relies on what lies underneath the surface of who we are. They agree on not recognizing frontiers as to where life will be leading them and only want to begin walking the journey. Also they are compassionate to the core, but not as activist as their sister (thank God), because I think a family can't take more than one activist per head count.
The oldest of my sons has the homeless very dear to his heart and does anything he can to help. He does it because he wants to and loves doing whatever he can, he believes that empathy can make a difference and is more than willing to give it a try. His view of mankind is that all of us are capable of great good, but also of great evil, whereas he is very cautious when passing judgment over anyone. My youngest son is all about being centered, he considers himself a liberal and voices his opinions without a fear in his bones. He's a writer, a dreamer, a helper, and above all a very spiritual guy. When he was ten or eleven I thought he would become a minister or a priest, but ended up hating religion, but loving God. Sometimes a worry that he will struggle as an emerging adult to find his place, but never doubt that as the man of strong convictions he has become, he will always find his voice in the world. As a mother the only thing I did was listen, be honest, straightforward, teach them a strong work ethic (because I would always tell them that
school was their job), try to give them the best example possible, love them like crazy and be there for them no matter what. They ended up excelling the simple expectations I had set for them, nevertheless I still worry about the part about their happiness because when everything is said and done that's the only thing I want for them, to be, really and truly happy so they can also find happiness with another person just as their dad and me have been for the past thirty one years.