“I use to be an expert on raising kids, and then I became a parent.”
A quote that makes me laugh and cringe at the same time, because how true it is. Not only for others, but myself as well. There is something different about being solely responsible for not just getting them grown up, but grown up the right way. And then there comes a point when you can no longer raise them, but instead have to step back and watch them try and apply everything they have been taught while trying to make it in this crazy world.
There are things you want to save them from, protect them from, keep them from. There are things you would rather they didn’t see, do, or know. But eventually – you know there will be a day when their knowledge surpasses yours, and suddenly they are teaching you things, and telling you how to do something. And the tables are forever turned.
Having lost my daughter, the innocence, if you will, of raising a child is gone and has been replaced with fear, and worry instead of wonder and awe. There is no such thing as a simple cold, or an innocent accident. Life is forever changed, and while it can be good – to see beyond the superficial fakeness of it all, it is also difficult – to know, and fear everyday for something you not only wonder if it will happen, but you know CAN and has happened.
The other day, I read a quote from a mother waiting for a heart for her child. The fears Im sure are bigger than life itself. The worry and wonder if maxed out, and the wanting, wishing, helpless waiting of it all – Is really, more than I can imagine. Having watched my daughter die, I know how helpless of a feeling it truly is, and how you would give anything to bring that sliver of hope to help your child. As a parent you will do anything for your child, at any cost, any risk, any measure or level.
“There has to be a drunk driver out there, so my child can live, she recalled thinking.”
But that level? I could never imagine. It is probably wrong for me to say, however, since having never been to that level of fear before – I cant, or shouldn’t, judge.
I can only speak for myself when I say – after loosing my daughter, watching my daughter die while I stood by helplessly, I would never wish the pain on anyone. I would never wish for one to die so my daughter could live. I would never say my loss is worse than your loss, or your loss is worse than my loss. Somewhere – there is another family. Grieving the loss; while you celebrate. Somewhere the hops and dreams of one family have been smashed, and in turn, you are thanking your lucky stars for that drunk driver that saved your daughter.
Somewhere, while you hug your child, a family clutches to the broken pieces of their hearts, and watch for signs that at any minute, another piece could easily be shattered. While one family realizes the fragility of life, the innocence that can easily be stolen, and the normalcy that can never be regained – the other only notes how close they came to loosing it all.
I use to be an expert. Until I became painfully aware of how little I truly did know.
There are things I would rather not teach the kids, things I would rather they not know, people I would prefer to keep them from. Situations I hope they can avoid, but I am also painfully and acutely aware that as much as I wish for or against something – ultimately I do not have the last say. I can only hope that the situations they have been through, together with things they have learned that they will know and always remember to be mindful of others, and not to judge – for someone is always fighting a much harder battle. That everything, good or bad, comes at a cost, if not for you – for someone else.