It’s what the parent often feels. They see danger in that something or something else their kids (of any age) are doing even though they at times don’t. They’ll express their caution but if they’re wise and courageous enough they’ll leave well enough alone. It’s simple; we cannot often protect them.
And this isn’t a bad thing—it’s their lives after all.
Our kids will make their own mistakes much like we (the parents) did when we were their age. Gee, look at us now... if our parents are still alive their observations of us are often the same; they might often feel tempted to say something to us in our acting and deciding over things. None of us are sturdily wise in all we do.
Our kids will get into trouble. We did. Our parents couldn’t stop us or prevent the consequences occurring replete to the actions that caused them. Natural consequences must be allowed to run their course.
People will betray them. Our kids, like we were, will be betrayed. Their important relationships will bust up. They’ll lose key friendships. They’ll have friends who’ll suicide. Their business partnerships may fail. They could be bullied at work.
They’ll experience the gut-wrenching reality that human beings are spiritually and loyally frail. We have a problem being faithful across the board. Some, of course, are worse and more immoral than others; from these we cannot ultimately protect our children—at any age—they’ll mix and associate with whoever they choose. (But it does bode us well to bare this firmly in mind—motivating us to teach them wisdom while we can.)
And sometimes they won’t even have a choice. At times we didn’t either at their age. Choice is a limiting thing at any age.
They will suffer their own depressions and other disorders. They’ll have their health problems devoid even of our own genetics. When a virus takes hold we won’t be able to suffer the illness for them. Injuries too will occur.
Our health, again, reminds us we’re our own persons. We cannot live another person’s life or take any of the responsibility for same.
This is Not Bad News
All of the above is not a depressing thing for us to consider.
In fact, it’s actually illuminating, liberating. We suddenly find that when we’re accepting that pain will enter our children’s lives and it will remain there, ebbing and flowing through their lives, much as it has done for us in our lives, we have some comfort that we can only do what we can. It’s the nature of life and our parents (and theirs before them) had the same constraints to work with.
It merely homes us in, directing us to enjoy life as much as we can with our children; to facilitate their journey at times means getting out of the way, and just providing moral support.
We will need to grin and bear this journey through holy prayer for our children—always sending their spirits, via our intercession, to the angels of heaven to protect them as much as possible.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.