I'm not working today. I had a doctor's appointment this morning, and the Culligan man is coming out for yearly maintenance on our water filter. Not only that, but with Matthew sick, I feel I need to be here for him.
So, I'm lounging around, doing housework when I feel like it, and watching TV in the interim. It's kind of reminiscent of when the kids were younger. I had a home daycare, and at lunch time, I would set the kids in front of Barney while I fixed their meal.
Today, I was flipping channels, and I came across an episode of Barney on PBS. It has quickly taken me back down memory lane. My little girl who wore pigtails and ruffled bottom tights is now a college student and pageant girl. My little boy who once loved the Teletubbies is now a 6'2" young man who is close to getting his driver's license. My baby boy who love The Wiggles is now a teenager, 6'1" and making his own decisions.
Life flies by way too fast. Now that Emily is gone, I worry that I haven't done enough, parented enough, made enough of a difference in their lives. They are becoming their own people, being influenced by people and things out of my control. I'm one of those parents who lets her children experience life. I worry, I fret, and I give advice, but I let them follow their own steps, make their own decisions, live by their own experiences whether good or bad. I think we've done okay. They are good, God loving, rule following, kind and generous people. I am so proud of them. I've made many mistakes, and my amazingly resilient children have not only lived through them, but I think they have thrived.
But again, the doubts enter. Did I spend enough time with them? Do they still need to be tucked into bed? Am I too lenient? Will they know how to run a household? Have I been so selfish in giving myself what I want, that I didn't take care of their needs? Sometimes I feel like I've parented on the surface, like I couldn't communicate to them the depth of my love of my children. I don't think they have any idea just how much I love them. Then to see them relate to me, see how close we are, see what we share, I think maybe I've done okay.
New parents have asked me how I raise wonderful children. I honestly don't know. I did what I felt was in my heart. Sometimes it was right. Other times, it wasn't. Always it was done with the best intentions. I've cried tears, I've laughed laughs, and I love with every fiber of my heart. Parenting goes beyond the basic needs. One thing I know is that my children will always know their Mama loves them.
Yeah, they're growing up. They are all taller than me. They are all finding their own paths in life. But still, I see them as the little girl running around, her long pigtails bouncing, the little towheaded boy who always greeted me with a smile, that snuggly little freckle faced son who was always looking for mischief. Then I blink my eyes, and see the amazing teenagers I have today.