I seize every opportunity I can to make memories with my grand children. I know that anything can send a child in a negative direction. Anything can come along and sap all of the hope, pride, confidence, and self-worth from a person in a New York minute. Every child is different; so, every child’s needs will be different. As cliche’ as it may sound, it takes a village to raise one child, to recognize what each child requires to grow in to full, self-actualized, human beings. Yet, what basically every child will need in life, are memories to turn to, to grab hold to, and hang on to.
My daughter was reared without her father present in her life, and though she always says, even at 35 years of age, “I’m good”. I know the pain it caused, especially because she knew him, and though he wasn’t a part of our lives, he was present in our world. I know that as a young, single mom, I missed a few beats, danced a few side steps, and didn’t get it exactly right. It was late before I gained my mother wit, but it did come, and no one ever told me that grandmother wit would be twice the spice.
My daughter is a really cool person, except on those days I wonder who is possessing my child’s body. She is a good mom, an excellent educator, finishing up her Ph.D., making strides in her life, and growing daily. Yet, I still send her energy of self-love and wholeness everyday, hoping she remembers the good times over the bad.
My grand children are growing up in two households. While their dad is very present in their lives, it can be stressful and confusing living between two households, with two different standards of living and ways of life, two different belief systems, lots of conflicts and disagreements. They are often expected to be normal, but there is nothing normal about their lives. They go to school, participate in every club and organization possible, take dance lessons, and athletic development classes in the evenings; they participate in church for spiritual communion with like-minded believers, for an expanded sense of belonging, grounding, and cultural affirmation. Yet, their lives are fragile. That’s where I come in. It’s a crazy world out there, and children must be protected from it at all costs, afforded the opportunity to be children. As an educator, I’ve seen too many children stripped of their childhood, tossed into an adult world, yet expected to walk both lines. If only I could take them all shopping for Christmas decorations, just to enjoy an hour and a half of childhood again, just to plant in their minds and hearts fond memories of a moment in time when someone cared, when they mattered to someone. There might come a day, when that moment, that memory will make all the difference in the world. My wish is that all children had great memories to stand on; my hope is that my girls will choose to remember.
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