A recent visit from my grandchildren reminded me of how much fun I had raising my own children. It was hard juggling home, spouse, work, self and children, but seeing their accomplishments made me glow inside. I strived to keep them healthy and happy. I strived to clear obstacles in their way like toys when there were little and restrictions and expectations others had of them when they were older. I watched them grow and I felt an overwhelming love. My children are beautiful, my children are bright, my children are healthy and my children are good people.
Some of my early memories of their accomplishments made my jaw hurt from smiling so much. One I could gush over, the other I had to admire from afar. They both enjoyed their activities in their own way. The excitement of getting them to Soccer and Baseball training gave me the energy to run home after work, feed them and run to their practices and games (four days a week). I didn’t have time for myself. But, holding my breath when the soccer ball was as at my daughter’s feet and seeing her protect her goalie or my son up to bat and holding my breath as the ball reached him, made me forget how tired I was and that I hadn’t eaten yet. It was their accomplishments that made me do it. It was like a drug.
As my children grew up, now 34 and 32, I had to change and adapt to their new accomplishments. They were doing their own thing and there was less physical work but more mental work. My mind was worrying and working as they were growing. Did I do the right thing? Was I giving them enough space to grow, or, too much space to get into trouble? Would they come to me if they needed help? Are they happy?
Their accomplishments always brought me joy. My daughter’s school valedictorian speech is a memory I will never forget. My son stepping up and taking care of me when my life changed will never be forgotten. They are GOOD and they made me GOOD. A recent conversation with a friend, reminded me that these accomplishments that I had celebrated, were not just my children’s accomplishments, but, “my biggest accomplishment”.
I love them and I am loved.
Written by Sonia Scalfari (pictured with her second grandson)