Sunday, May 6, 2012

Slipping Down the Ladder

I have one married child. A second one is taking that plunge in little more than a month. It's a happy occasion, but bittersweet. Every parent has to recognize that they are now just a little further from the center of their child's affections. This does not mean that the child cares less for you, but that others, spouses for starters and children later, have stepped in front of you. This is as it should be.

Oftentimes this is also the beginning of a deeper revelation for the child of just what you gave to them, sacrificed for them, and how you blessed their lives. They find themselves now following your example, and feeling the cost. Then there will come this moment when the light blazes on. It might be triggered by something that touches them, but more likely by an act of their child in which they recognized themselves. Perhaps it was an act of deep ingratitude, or careless acceptance of a great sacrifice. And they understand how thoughtless a child can be and how much the child will take your best for granted.

I am fortunate. All of my children have eyes to see. And I have eyes to see, too. I see signs that they will outshine me as parents. I weep for my faults. I rejoice in their gains.

I am fortunate in what I was given. My parents did the best they knew how.

So although we continue throughout our lives to slip down our children's ladders of prominent place, if we are lucky, they will treasure where they came from.

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