Thursday, March 08, 2012

Children are strangers

"Children are their parents' guests. They come into the space that has been created for them, stay for a while - fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years - and leave again to create their own space. Although parents speak about 'our son' and 'our daughter,' their children are not their property. In many ways children are strangers. Parents have to come to know them, discover their strengths and their weaknesses, and guide them to maturity, allowing them to make their own decisions." Henri Nouwen

"In many ways children are strangers."

I don't like that statement, but it's true. It was especially true of my daughter (and still is).

From watching excellent mothers at my school, I live vicariously through mother - daughter relationships which are good. Based upon mature parenting and wise choices, unwavering biblical foundations, tremendous engagement. I stare and am happy and am sad --  always happily sad that it's possible, and it's happening for some.

I was always there for my daughter, yet complications and forces grouped to batter.

I have many wonderful, close moment-memories of my sweet, shining star. Early on, we were a loving, inseparable pair, engaging and holding on. For what I could offer, I offered. Good choices, solid, foundational, guided my love for her.

Yet I did not parent perfectly, correctly. My hands were tied in some cases.

In other cases, I underestimated and underused my hands.

Some people say that you stop maturation at certain moments of abusive crisis. I wonder if I remained at 23 and 24 too long.

I wonder if I learned anything beyond my parents.

I look at those teenage daughters who do not run away, do not, do not, do not, and I see who I was at their age. Loving, God-entrenched, parent-respectful. I see expectations of unrealistic duplication given her circumstances.

I wonder what happened, but I know, and much was as it is. A wandering child. A pit and a climb. Both.

Now my daughter and I love each other, but there's a span of hurtful years, and there's a divide, and I wonder did I learn anything beyond my parents, beyond mistakes and pain? Is halting remedy enough.

I don't think she wants to know me truly and really. Maybe she isn't capable of that yet. Are any of us? Will she learn beyond her parents, beyond mistakes and pain?

God has been a parenting anchor for me even though the sail has whipped in the wind. Even through my inadequacies and blunders. Even through remedial rewiring. Even through, even through.

Bless this relationship and her, dear Lord. Thank you for new doors of grace and understanding and repair. Fracture happens but you, O good Father, restore beautiful light for shining.



nsp said...

I'm all choked up and teary! This is so beautiful and transparent.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

What a wonderful blog!! You're very talented. I look forward to reading more of your work. You definitely have a new follower :) feel free to follow mine as well. Keep up the good work!

Fieldfleur said...

Thanks, nsp, and Optimistic Existentialist!