I Want My Kids To Be Okay

As I bawled my eyes out last night watching “This Is Us,” there was one stupidly profound line that struck me: “I want my kids to be okay.” 

Jack Pearson, you nailed it. That’s what this parenting thing all comes down to isn’t it? All of the worrying, all of the nagging, all of the yelling, the fighting, the sighing, the self doubt – it’s all part of just trying to accomplish one thing…

“I want my kids to be okay,”

Last night it was even more poignant. Why? Because one of my kids (who shall remain unnamed) made a very poor choice and I’m crushed. (Mom, please don’t ask…I just can’t yet.) And I’m worried. I’m disappointed. I’m pissed. And truly, it all comes down to that same thing.

“I want my kids to be okay.”

And I’m worried that this one isn’t and it scares the shit out of me. And I feel like it’s my fault.

Despite what my kids think, everything I do, I do for them. And while they may not think I’m doing a very good job, I promise you, I’m doing the best I can…

If anyone knows it’s not always good enough, it’s me.

I’m painfully aware.

Woman sitting against wall thinking: I want my kids to be okay

“I want my kids to be okay.”

In this crazy world in which we’re living, a world with a horrible opioid crisis, growing gun violence, ridiculous YouTube videos, a #metoo movement, a divided government and country, there are so, so, so many things to fear. Big things, little things, and everything in between.

Not to mention fearing my own mistakes and worrying about theirs. After all, one of my favorite parenting lines is, “it just takes one bad decision…”

“I want my kids to be okay.”

I’m a firm believer that none of us set out to screw up our kids. It doesn’t mean that we don’t screw them up, but no parent in their right mind does it on purpose.

But there are times when we might make a poor parenting choice – none of us are perfect, lord knows I’m certainly not. And man, do I own those decisions, all of it. Even when it may not be my fault.

So, I’m trying to get that monkey, that 100 pound gorilla of self flagellation that can easily derail my day and the joy of parenting, I’m trying to get that beast off my back. I’m working to recognize all of the things that DO go right, those little wins, those moments when for just a brief second I think I nailed it.

And when I manage to do just that, it becomes clear…

My kids are okay!

Mom with boys and dogs

They really are good kids in spite of me. I can’t promise them a life of sunshine and roses but I’m pretty sure they’ll be okay.

And part of them being okay might get  attributed to their Mom. This Mom, the imperfect one who loves them fiercely, who expects great things out of them and let’s them know when I’m disappointed, the one who is hanging by a thread, the one who flys off the handle on occasion, the one who makes mistakes, the one who is truly just doing the best job she can.

A Mom who is absolutely committed to one stupidly profound wish:

I want my kids to be okay.

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