Generally, I try to keep things positive and keep it in perspective. It would be easy to lament the things I’m either missing or have been without in life. But I don’t think that serves me well – instead (and I use this metaphor a lot) I look in the mirror in the morning and hope the guy looking back knows you do your best and hope for the right outcome.
Admittedly, it sounds a little overly thought out – but a friend’s Facebook post recently got me thinking about not only my life my the lives of my kids. Without sharing more than she may want in this forum – she’s a 9/11 widow and her daughter – who was a new-born on that day in 2001 recently went found her father’s name at the memorial in NYC. My friend posted the text exchange she had with her daughter including a picture of the name.
Do your best and hope is probably standard thinking for any parent – or at least I would hope that it is. But in the case of an only parent where you play two roles but can only be one person it has a different feel.
I grew up without a father. He passed when I was in kindergarten. I don’t think I missed out on anything in life – but I admit I didn’t have a blueprint to be a father. This is when your best and hope has to work.
My kids are growing up without a mother. What will their future as parents be? Was my best good enough? I hope so.
In my house, my kids have a closeness I never had with my brothers. I’m not sure that’s just a function of girls and boys. I’m not sure its a function of parenting. Even when my older brother lived with us for a year, I still never felt that bond that I can see in my girls.
Back then I told my kids we were opening our house because that’s what you do for family – it was the best we could do at the time. You do your best and hope.
So as we embark on the next school year with all kinds of firsts – 17.5 will drive to school, graduate in June, apply to college while 15.0 will move into honors English and advanced art classes – is my best enough?
It’s what I can offer. Everyday I tell the guy in the mirror – just do your best and hope.