Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"It's not the easy times that make you the person you're going to be, but the hard times and how you handle them." - My Father

It's been a while since I've posted because I haven't really felt like I had anything much to say. The normal goings on of the Spaz family haven't stopped - we've had karate, and horses, and girl scouts, and family get-togethers, and camping trips, and melt downs, and messes, and all of it. I just haven't felt like reporting everything.

But today I feel like I need to reach out to a friend. A friend who I've never met in person, but who has shared her life in the blogosphere and in private groups with me and on the wonderful world we all know as facebook. Sometimes our lives seem to parallel each other and I have a special place in my heart for her.

My friend is having a tough time with her child. Her oldest child, a senior in high school... she's traveling a path I have yet to travel... so what advice can I possibly give her?

She wrote today about how she told him "I give up".... words uttered in a moment of despair but words she doesn't mean. And she wrote about how she'll never give up. My heart breaks for her and for her child because, though I'm not in that place where I have a teenage child who is experiencing a particularly painful time of growing up, I remember being one.

My parents never gave up.

When I say that to my parents, when I thank them for never giving up on me, my dad always looks at me like he can't believe I would possibly think that he could ever give up.

"Of course we never gave up on you, Beth. You're our child."

But I grew up with other kids whose parents did give up. I had friends that had no safe place to go back to when they failed the first, second, or tenth time. I had friends who struggled and fought to stay alive... and some of them didn't. I can't speak for their parents - maybe they didn't have enough to offer, maybe they couldn't handle the pressures of their own lives and therefore couldn't be there for their children. I don't know the situations. I just know that I saw kids who were falling and no one was there to pick them up.

I gave my mom and dad a hard time growing up. I was defiant, I thought I knew it all, I made all the wrong choices. I went through dark periods of sadness and confusion. I pushed my family away, I told them I didn't need them. I caused them so much pain that there is nothing I could ever do to make up for it. I loved them, I hated them, I lied, I deceived, I did things I would be ashamed to write here.

But when push came to shove, my parents were there. They were always there to pick me up and try to set me back on course when I was ready for help. They never gave up.

I don't know if my mom and dad have any idea how much I appreciate them today. I don't know if they understand how absolutely proud I am to be their daughter. I don't know if words could ever express it.

My friend, my amazing friend who is fighting for her son, some day when he has pulled through all of this darkness and come out the other side a stronger grown up man, he will turn to you with an incredulous look on his beautiful face and thank you for never giving up.


the_happy_hausfrau said...[Reply to comment]

Ok, I've stopped crying long enough to type out a few sentences...

THANK YOU, dear woman, for these lovely words you've written just for me. I am going to cherish these words, hold them dear and close to my heart for a long, long time. In fact, I may just go ahead and print this out and read it over and over again when I find myself wanting to "give up" again.

As I told you before, it's not often that I think of Charlie and the adult he will most certainly grow up to be. But your post got me thinking about it, and made me realize how important it is that I don't give up. Because I want him to know, like you do now, how much he was loved, even when he was unlovable.

Thank you, thank you. Thank you.


Domestic Spaz said...[Reply to comment]

@the_happy_hausfrau You don't even know how much it touches my heart to know that my words could help you. <3 You are welcome to them whenever you need them.