Nobody likes difficult days. In fact, we dread them. Sometimes we go to sleep knowing that the next day will bring our own kind of misery and often they turn out to not be nearly as bad as we had imagined. Other times, we wake up hopeful and one thing after another continues to go wrong. This week, my youngest had a couple of difficult days. Not the kind that can’t be overcome, but the special kind of hell that only high school can bring. Having way more years under my belt I knew that each of these seemingly insurmountable dramas were not going to bring an end to the world in which we knew it, but to her, it was her whole life.
What these issues are is irrelevant because what bothers one teenager might not be a blip on another’s radar. The important thing is that she felt like her world was falling apart bit by bit. Over the course of two days she felt like the rug was being pulled out from under her and she literally had no idea how to “fix” it. Some of it was her own doing and lack of attention and preparation, while others were just life. The reality is that sometimes even with thorough attention to detail things don’t turn out the way we want. Life is unfair like that.
Parents never like to see their kids hurting and we often try to prevent them from it at all costs, but we can’t. Sure, we can listen to them and comfort them, but we can’t take it away. Even if we could, we shouldn’t. Believe me, I get it. There are things I wish I could take off of my kids’ plates and no amount of praying, whining, wishing or complaining can change it. I know a lot of parents believe that life is hard enough and we should try to protect them from hurt and hardships for as long as we can. I have been witness to parents who have gone to great lengths to protect their kids from bad grades to covering for their poor choices. I understand their desire but it isn’t a reality and we aren’t doing them any favors. We can’t protect them from a mean comment or a hurtful glance anymore than we can protect them from having their heart broken. Eventually they will be faced with something that is out of our control and isn’t it better that it happens while they are still at home under our roof than out on their own?
I always want my girls to think that life is beautiful, but I also want them to know that sometimes life is going to knock them down. They may not know how to handle every situation, but I want them to realize that they have what it takes to get back up, fight, lick their wounds and persevere.
Back to my daughter. I’m not saying that high school doesn’t have its real life consequences that can kick our butt. High school is no joke and while this week has been tough, it’s also had some bright spots. While only one of her issues have been resolved and she may need some guidance on others, she is through the “my life is over” phase…for the moment. Most weeks I feel like I have survived something monumental and still other weeks I smile, take a deep breath and thank God for the hard lessons learned because I know that each time she gets back up she has learned how to dig a little deeper and persevere.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G