Last month my family and I were invited to a family birthday party for my one-year-old niece. I was really amazed at the amount of work her mom and dad put into this party. Everything was part of the theme including the cupcakes, which her mom had decorated by hand. They did an amazing job of organizing it and I started to think about my kids and their birthday parties. Sorry to say but I don’t think we ever out that much work into our children’s parties. I sometimes do the same thing about therapy and all the possible treatments we have or have not done for our son. Over the years I have met parents who to me seem to have limitless energy and sometimes pocket books to enroll their children in every program there is.
There is a scene in an older comedy movie “Raising Arizona”. In it a childless couple steal one of a sextuplet children to bring up as their own. On the first day they have the child they sit down to lunch with a couple who have five children and the well seasoned mother starts telling them all the things they need to do like shots and setting up a college fund. The new father who is played by Nicolas Cage looks as if his head is going to explode with all the new information. This is how I have felt when talking to these super parents, I feel like hyperventilating, thinking about all the things I have not done.
I spend way too much time on the past and what I could have done better. I spend time comparing my family to others and it isn’t fair to that family or to my family. Just like our children, whether differently abled or not, each family is different. Looking at what they are doing from my external view could never be accurate. We have had seasons of great activity and seasons of rest, times in which we were all together and getting along and times when we had to seat the kids in certain order in the car just to keep the peace.
Looking at my family and how we are raising our children even the things we are not doing in comparison to another family will always make me disappointed because the scale I am using to judge is not reality it is just an imaginary scale which is in my head. Judging that someone else is doing a better job by comparing one scene or conversation is equally unreal.
I can get myself really worked up over all the things I should have or could have done over the years but something I read this week put it all in perspective for me.The quote is from Dave Willis “There are no perfect parents, and there are no perfect children, but there are plenty of perfect moments along the way.”
My children won’t remember all of the lessons, therapies, or programs we put them in, or even the ones they wanted to be in but for what ever reason we couldn’t or didn’t have them participate. They like me will remember moments where memories were made together.