Our knee jerk reaction as parents is to rescue our struggling children. It’s hard to take a breath and a step back and lay witness to the battles, all the while feeling helpless and useless. That’s not what we are conditioned to do. We are the parents and as such, are responsible for the well-being and care of those innocent little beings that we brought here. The urge to protect, shield them from harm and difficulty is innate in all mothers and fathers. We’re not supposed to throw them to the wolves knowing full well they’ll be hounded and forced to fight back; made to stand up and withstand the baring teeth and the all– out assaults of those that wish them harm. It’s hard to listen to them cry and shout in frustration, fear and anguish. Fear of failure, fear of hurt, fear of losing. All valid and all the more reason for us to retreat into the shadows and wave our flag of support.
The adults in this world are nodding their heads, knowing the struggles are real and totally worth it in the end. It’s enduring the struggles and watching them unfold that’s hard. It’s the knowledge that ‘this too shall pass’ and fighting one’s way to theend is the only way to finish, that holds us back from donning our Superman capes and flying to their aid. “Sorry, kid it’s in the wash” I said in an email to D2. The email to inspire her to move onwards and upwards despite the late night crying and homesickness and the “I hate I can’t…” Me too. But, it’s your attitude through this difficult patch that will make or break you. It’s your positive keep-that-chin-up and soldiering-on–despite–wearing–that–boot–on–your–leg-that-you–hate; despite not being able to do what you innately feel you must do. Be the bad-ass I know you can. Lead the damn parade anyways. March in drill class like you own it. Remember, hard work and dedication gets you winning regattas and your name in a history book. That same hard work will get you through this, too.
I can do nothing but sit here, several provinces away, and hope you hear us cheering you on. I hope you know you have the guts to do it. You are strong enough, brave enough and smart enough. Feeling sorry for your current predicament does nothing but waste precious time.
Parents are put in the unique position of witnessing progression, triumphs and failures simultaneously. Struggle is a part of being alive. It’s through adversity that we truly learn how strong we are. Taking away that struggle, or trying to diminish it in any way from our children, leaves them with nothing to gain; upon which nothing to build character. I hate being a spectator to battles and I hate being here, not taking on my Sheldon-like traitof patting her back with a sympathetic ‘there, there’ and offering her a hot beverage. Of course, I want to hold her hand and tell her it’ll be fine and to just come home. But what purpose would that serve, if only to make myself feel better? None. She learns nothing.
Struggle on, little bird and kick some ass. Show your character by fighting through this with your wit, sarcasm and smarts. If that doesn’t work, march, yell and lift the heavy weights. Do all the push-ups, do all the chin-ups and do all the rowing. This whole battle can be won or lost depending solely on how you respond. This has nothing to do with me or your father; this is your war. Your struggle. Your life. So win it.
I’ll be over here in the shadows intently watching, laying out my Superman cape to dry knowing we’ve done everything we can, waving my flag of support and cheering you on. Now, it’s your turn to fight for what you want. Struggle on, my darling.
Good luck parents. Staying in the shadows is the hardest part, but will make the successes that much sweeter. Let me know if you need a fellow spectator, I have LOTS of coffee….
Easy to watch when they are winning…