Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Kangaroo Court

                                                        A Kangaroo Court

    Those years with just the children and I, were busy and full. There were always extra people living with us and I loved it. I never tried to change any of them, or lecture them. I tried to be loving, to understand how they felt and what they needed. It really helped me with my own children. I realized how much they needed to feel loved and accepted.  Even if I did not agree with their choices, I tried to remember that they were their choices and it was my job to wait in the wings. To be ready if they fell. It was not my place to predict their fall, or even worse, to trip them. No, my job was more important then that. My job was to love them through it. Whatever it was. Even if they weren't lovable. It is a mother's quest. To be that solid ground for our children to land on when the world tosses them to and fro. To support their life choices, no matter how we feel about them. That is what sets a good mother, a good father apart. Because it was not easy. To watch them stumble. To know what they needed to do, without telling them. I had to realize my job had changed. We start out with these little beings, and we guide them and teach them. We keep them out of harms way. We worry and we plan. We invest everything into these little souls and then, they push away from us. I had to remind myself of my role all the time. Through bad relationships and broken hearts I had to just listen. It is not an easy thing to so. To allow someone else their freedom to fail. But, being a mother was never an easy job. It was the only peace to be had. The more I interfered the more we fought. That was not my intent. I was trying to fix things. Why did they not see that? The answer was simply, they were not my things to fix. It took me a long time. Too long to figure that one out. To hold these precious children away from myself after so many years of keeping them so close.

   It felt as if I was abandoning them. But I was not. I had to respect them enough to see them as adults. To believe in them enough to let them fail. May son told me I needed to start dating. And two days later his younger sister said the same thing. They were always doing that, telling me what to do, giving me advice. I loved it. It meant that they cared. That they wanted the best for me as I did them. So our roles had reversed. I had to stop giving unsolicited advice and they, where to shower me with their new found wisdom. It was an arrangement that I learned to love. Whenever one of them was straying, dating the wrong person, not holding down a job, the others of us would huddle. There would be phone calls back and forth. Decisions would be had and judgements passed. It is no wonder the subject of these trials did not appreciate our attention. But, we all did it. I was on the receiving end of a proclamation of wrong doing more than once. It might bring the judges closer, but the defendant, the convicted, never seemed to take their sentence with grace. No, there would be angry outbursts and claims of injustices past and present. Clearly there was favoritism. We continued this back and forth tug of war with each other convincing ourselves that we had the accused's own interest at heart. But we of course were wrong. We were a kangaroo court set to hand down a verdict almost before the victim of our justice had been sworn in. We were all knowing and wise beyond our years. We were fools in black robes. Making ourselves feel better by proclaiming someone else's guilt. Pretending that we knew best.

  It was tearing us apart. Our love for each other. And it was my job to stop it. It was easy really. I just refused to convene court. I set down the gave,l that was my symbol of power. So silly really. I had no power. And in truth, I wanted none. My children were not puppets. I did not want that. I had lived that with my mother and it was a destructive game. I let the accused go free. Without judgement or recrimination. A pardon for all. I would bite my tongue and allow them their own lives. Separate from mine and yet inseparable. It was a matter of respect. And of trust. They had earned both and I had to give it. I would never knowing withhold what they needed most. And when I finally hit upon it, for I had no guide book for such things, I relinquished both gladly.

   It made me see them differently, these children of mine. They would always be my babies. but they had all grown. And just as in their first years, they still want the same things from me. To be loved unconditionally, to be accepted as they are and to be the soft landing when they need it. I stopped giving unsolicited advice, although I still have plenty, I just don't  hand it out. I stopped predicting their fall and I never said I told you so. It is not that I never thought it. It just did not seem right to kick them when they were down. To hand them my recriminating words when they needed my grace. I had learned a lot about grace. I had begged to live in it, to be protected from my own bad choices, ill thought out plans. I could hardly deny it to those I love most.

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