My kids, my everything
A friend of mine challenged me to write about the unconditional love a parent has for their child(ren). I got busy, kept meaning to get back to it, and eventually forgot. I remembered now. 😉
There are many types of love one can feel. The love I have for my mom isn’t the same as the love I feel for my kids. My love of nature is different than my love for cheese. From people to places to things, one can love a lot. The capacity a human soul has to love is unfathomable. One of the greatest I feel is the love I have for my children.
I miscarried twice, first when I was 19 and then at 21. With my health, I didn’t think I would ever have kids. Then at 23, almost 24, I had my son. I had known love in my life before then, but not a love like this. To put into words just how being pregnant with him felt and knowing I was going to soon be called momma, I don’t know that I can do it properly, but I will do my best.
Not that I wouldn’t have sacrificed a lot to see my mom, grandma, or friends happy and healthy, there were clear limits as to how much of me I would give for them. With my son, I found those limits extended and honestly, they feel limitless. I have felt there was nothing I wouldn’t give up to make sure he had everything he needed to be healthy, get a good education, know happiness, and have a good life.
I have been selfish from time to time, but overall, I have given up more for him than anyone else over the years. I watched my soul break when I gave his dad temporary primary placement years ago. His dad had a stable job and was in a better position to give our son things he needed. No one who hasn’t been in my shoes could really understand how much I was hurting.
Things went okay at first and then his dad started keeping us apart. My son wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy. His dad wouldn’t listen. The pain I felt was immeasurable. I was on my feet within the year of signing those papers, but it didn’t matter to my son’s father. Eventually, I knew I needed to get a lawyer and fight to get my placement back. The fight took a lot out of me. I fought hard though, because my son was/is worth it.
It took 14 years in and out of court to bring my boy home. Many tears, sleepless nights, thousands of dollars, many long drives to court dates/mediation/to do pick ups and drop offs/take him to school/etc, and more were a regular part of my life for a long time. As my soul ached more and more, I contemplated giving up several times. What kept me going was my love for my son and wanting what was best for him. When I felt it was best for him to be with his dad, I stepped back and willingly had limited time with my son. It became too limited and after some time, it weighed on my son too much. I realized giving him what he needed was about far more than who made more money.
Now, he’s here full time and it is a whole new set of challenges. Over the years he spent most of his time with his dad, he grew angry at the world and started acting out by stealing, lying, destroying things when he got upset, getting in fights at school, and so on. No one would listen to him for years. He was crying for help. I kept fighting to bring him home so I could help him turn things around. In the past 18 months since he’s been here, it’s not been easy much of the time.
He continued to steal, lie, get in trouble at school, and he started causing problems for my daughter. (She is four, had her with my husband. My son’s dad also married and had two more kids. There were issues with our son and their oldest prior to him coming here full time.) There were good days and a week or two here and there, but overall, things have been really stressful. Still, I push forward and fight to help my son. I want him to succeed and be happy, more than anything.
He is doing alright right now and this time, it feels different. I think he’s finally starting to mature and make needed changes. The whole family feels it. The tension between my kids isn’t as bad, they’re bonding more. The relationship between him and my husband has been improving. My son and I are getting back to a good place. This is why I have fought hard and continue to. I want what is best for my children. I will always fight for them, for their futures. There will come a time when it is more subdued, as they’ll take care of themselves, but I’ll always be cheering them on.
The love I feel for my son and daughter don’t compare to the love I feel for anyone else. The jobs I worked, didn’t work, staying home to raise my little girl, the court battle to bring my boy home, the many loads of laundry, meals cooked, staying up late to soothe a sick little one, staying up to decorate for their birthday parties, letting their friends stay the night, the long drives, nursing wounds, listening when they’re upset, the cuddles, attending games and concerts, the lack of social life, working hard to see them smile, and more are things I’ve done and would do again to make sure they are doing well. Above all, I want them to walk out of here with the skills to lead a good life and so much love that they’ll want to share it with others. A mother’s love is never ending and while it isn’t an easy thing to be a parent, it is one of the best parts of my life.