Diapers and Dragons

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Our Eyes

Last night MTL was teasing me and I was teasing back in a faux-pouty sort of way, when he suddenly pulled back, looked at me askance, and said, Uh, hello there, DramaBoy!

Apparently I was using the exact facial expression, exact words, exact look as the sort that DramaBoy pulls out from time to time.

There's a reason I call him my mini-me. It's not just his physical appearance, though that alone causes commentary everywhere we go. Our temperaments are nearly identical (thus the fulfillment of my mother's curse) (have I apologized lately, Mom and Dad? I AM SO SORRY) and the source of many of our conflicts. Odd how two strong-willed, quick-tempered, ridiculously stubborn people will spark off each other.

I will say this: his eyes are no longer purely mine. They used to be. Now, while they're still hazel, they've become brown-hazel rather than green-grey-hazel. They've become much more like his father's over the last year or so. Still, when I look into his eyes--I see myself.

And it scares the sh*t out of me.

You see, I was broken for so very, very long. I was tormented by my dragons for nearly thirty years, and I lost the battles until I forgot how to fight. And while there were outside forces and trauma that I experienced that I pray God will never be part of DramaBoy's life, still I wonder how much of my life was simply the path I took as the person I am.

And I can't (and won't) "blame" my parents. No parents are perfect, but to this day I place no blame on mine for the broken road I traveled. They were and are amazing people, amazing parents. MTL is already starting to get a certain smile when I reference them, because I do it so very often. We don't agree on everything, my parents and I, but I respect them deeply.

So what does that mean for me? I struggle every day with parenting practice. I feel like I'm trying to catch up from years of being out of touch, correct countless bad habits (both mine and the children's), and piece together the puzzle that is parenting.  MTL helps. He's been doing this longer than I have, including the single parenting gig. But ultimately he can't and won't tell me what decisions I must make for my children.

What if it's too late? What if my son is already heading down a path similar to the one I trod? For all the love and growth and beauty that has come to me at this point in the road, I would never ever wish that journey for my son. I would never desire for him the pain and despair and brokenness I experienced.

I can't live his life for him. I can't protect him from all harm. But I cannot help but feel tremendous fear.

Because when I look into his eyes...

All I can see is that broken road.

11 bits of love:

Kathleen said...

I pray that when you look into his eyes, you will begin to see past the broken road you fear for him and instead see the healing that you have begun to experience!

Arby said...

Don't be silly. That's what I tell myself. It's not too late. I understand the fear. I've had it in regards to my 13yo, but I've learned that even at 13 it's not too late.

Wanderlust said...

Your kids are young. You have no idea what their paths will be. Just love them the best you can. They will no doubt surprise you, no matter what you expect.

MomZombie said...

I am grateful every day that my children's eyes do not reflect the pain in mine. No matter how lousy of a parent I feel at times, as long as they do not travel that road, I am OK.

Katie said...

Does every mother feel this way? Did ours? Did my grandmother feel this way?
I struggle every day to do the best I can, and pray that its enough.
Only time will tell, right?
Great post.

Sunday said...

I think every mother's worst fear is that our children will feel pain. Whether it be physical or emotional we never want anyone (especially our children) to have to endure the dragons and demons of our past.

So we walk a tightrope. A rope with an over-protection pitfall on one side and over-indulgence on the other. We pray we can guide them to walk straight and avoid either extreme. But in doing so we know there will be times they will stumble.

This is where our faith and our trust in God holds our hearts and our fear when nothing and no one else can.

Ed Pilolla said...

wow, this is so moving. after experiencing brokenness, i know that point of not blaming anyone. i know the pain and effort and years to takes to get a place where we don't want to blame anyone, and we wonder whether it had to be, our path that is.
i don't know what it's like to have a kid and see all this in his eyes. large-type issues here. deep piece here.

Monica said...

It's never too late. Ever. Ever.

But boy do I know what you are saying. I have a mini-me, one especially of my five. We look exactly alike and have very similar temperaments and personalities. I shudder when I think that she might be "cursed" in ways that I have been. But then again, I marvel at her. I'm sure you do the same with DramaBoy. At least you are acknowledging the fear and not sweeping it under a carpet. Beautiful post.

GingerB said...

Sometimes I wonder how much of a person is just that person, to the core. maybe desined, maybe made that way, but why have certain negative patterns? I can think of so many things I would have my parents have changed about my upbringing to have aused me less pain, less acting out in many ways, and so on, but how is it that my sister and I really pulled it together and my genius brother is at best a janitor and often unemployed, alcoholic, and always a bad person with whom to share a relationship? Some of it just has to be at his core, and invevitable. I hope my girls are safe from all that crap.

Stone Fox said...

i don't have anything to add to what others have said. just givin' you a bit of love :)

mom said...

Somehow we missed this post. Maybe the timing would have been wrong. But I ache so to think that you had so much pain going on, most of it hidden so that we didn't know. We saw, most of all, your gifting, your love for us and many others, your incredible word-hunger. And yes, there were those moments (that curse thing you can't get out of your memory) when the darkness inside showed too, and we prayed and just tried so hard to let you know how much you were loved. I wish we could have been smarter, have somehow protected you from all hurts. But as you know, parents can't do it, and the ones that try usually so overprotect their kids that they stifle them. You had a life of adventure and joy as well as of brokenness -- don't forget that part!! because you are giving that to DramaBoy too, no matter what may come along that you cannot avoid. Like us, you're trying to keep from adding to the brokenness. Your efforts will be blessed, because that's what our Father wants of us. Never give up; all we can do is do our best and listen as hard as we can to our Coach. I'm so glad you don't blame me, although I know I made mistakes. But you know I didn't want to! And I'm so glad that GOD BLESSED THE BROKEN ROAD. Now I understand that post better. You are beautiful and brought huge blessing to my life. Don't you forget it!

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