12/31/2008

ENDING THE YEAR BY PICKING A FIGHT - KINDA

Rachel. Rach. I can call you "Rach," right? You don't mind?

Read your blog posts. And many of them are lovely. Except, some of them are a little - how do I put this? Your posts can be kind of... a bummer.

For starters, the "Bill" to whom I'm certain you are referring in this post is also known as Mr. President. He is a man who has achieved quite a lot in his lifetime. From his education to his professional career, to his job as the leader of the free world and the president of your country, it is safe to say that his life is worth more than one shameful and humiliating experience broadcast for the world to see. Some might say he deserves some respect despite his shortcomings.

You yourself have a colorful past, documented on television, no less (and on a channel that I feel confident you don't allow your children to watch). And yet when you became a wife and mother you became something more. Someone who has had many experiences throughout your life and now is grounded in your beliefs and your desire to help your children to become good and whole people.

This is my point: our world is complicated. Parenthood today is not for the meek. What I hope for most in my own family is not that my kids be served up sanitized versions of the world, but that they are helped to know that that they have a unique place in it. That each one of us is an important addition and deserves to be honored.

My children are not here to make me look good, they are not here to fulfill the lost dreams of my youth. They are here to live this life. To experience every emotion and feeling, to walk through easy days and hard ones, and to learn the lessons that are there for them. It is their birthright.

The fact that their very existence has made my life better than I ever thought to hope is my experience. I hope that it informs their understanding that they are valuable beyond measure, but it does not define them. When it comes down to it their life is their own and the choices that they make for themselves will be theirs to live with. Good, bad or otherwise. Figuring out how to do the hard times and the easier ones with a little bit of grace and dignity would be lovely. But I strive for these things every day and I am nowhere near perfecting that technique.

There is no "if" in the equation; my children will have questions on provocative topics, they will attempt to adopt ugly behaviors, they will fail miserably one day and accomplish amazing feats the next.

My job: be as honest as I can in the moment, and get out of their way and to help them to traverse this wild terrain (all be it in a sleepy little community on the top of a tiny mountain). To sing praises and offer counsel. My job is not to ask the world to stop being so "un-pretty" because my kiddos can't handle it. Or I can't. One or the other.

To be in this world with love and respect and humanness, and sometimes with anger and fears. All of these things I wish for my children.

And to be clear, I wish these things for your children as well.

Regards,
Erica

1 comment:

the wind said...

Your style reminds me what good blog writing should sound like. Yes, I said "sound" like. We have plenty to read in this environment, but when you can read something that sings of "conversational tone" it is so refreshing to see. Reading through this post, it is almost like being at the table as you were having the discussion.