I mean this:
In my experience there are two kinds of parents:
Those who feel honoured and privileged to be parents and those who feel it is the kids who are privileged.
The first group says, “How did I get so lucky as to have this wonderful little person in my life.”
The second group says, “This kid owes me for all the stuff I do/money I spend/things I gave up because of him/her. I’ve made an investment here and I am waiting for it to pay a dividend.”
That is not a reference to adoptive parents, I see this attitude in biological parents too.
You might think that the first kind are the indulgent parents but in my opinion that is not true. They are the long term thinkers who always have the kids’ interests at heart. Sometimes that means saying no. They don’t guilt or manipulate, they love.
They don’t expect perfection. They know Errare humanus est. To err is human.
My daughter used to have a plaque on her wall that I bought when she was a baby. Remember that I had her after I met my son. I put it up there as a reminder for myself. I am sure you’ve heard it before.
It goes something like…
If a child knows love …maybe I will go on line and see if I can find it.
Found it. Here it is…
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be self-confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns to have a goal.
If a child lives with fairness,
he learns what justice is.
If a child lives with honesty,
he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with sincerity,
he learns to have faith in himself and
those around him.
If a child lives with love,
he learns that the world is
a wonderful place to live in.
I love being my daughter’s mother. I cannot think of a time when I didn’t think she was communicating with me. (And that was before the current craze of teaching kids sign language.)
I loved the infant, the baby, the toddler, the girl, the teenager and I love the young woman. Every stage has been great and full of wonder.
I talk to her about adoption. She understands. She gets it. She has been hurt by it too.