Forgive: to grant pardon to (a person).
to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one’s enemies.
With Mothers day and Fathers day just ahead of us
a deep question has been circling my heart and my spirit and it has been with me for many years.
As I have matured as a believer this question has always remained a mystery to me.
How does one forgive a parent who fell into the role of being a parent
through your birth
but could not and would not take responsibility
to do it well?
Children have no choice but to live in the home where they were born into.
Not everyone was raised in a Little house on the Prairie or Walton home.
Some children have lived in ‘horrible’ scenes which would warrant them to be removed from the home that they knew.
Other children stayed under the radar of protective custody and continued to live under the
emotional and physical abuse by the family members who hurt them.
It is never the fault of the child when adults chose to do harmful things.
Children can live and actually survive when it is only a house with four walls covered by a roof
but with no real relationships inside those walls.
Let’s be real honest for a moment.
Mothers day and Fathers day are not ‘hallmark’ moments for a lot of these children.
Parents make bad choices and continue to make bad choices when they don’t choose to learn
the fundamental issues of being an adult.
Unless one is searching and seeking there are no instructions given to someone
who find themselves in the role of being a new parent.
The adult no matter how old they are is always the one responsible.
Schools will often teach how to prevent making children not what to do or how to act when it happens.
One can become a parent at a very early age and in nine short months a person is radically changed from a non parent to a parent status.
Some people take this very seriously and others do not.
Most new parents are not aware of what to do with a new little person in their home.
There isn’t even a card that reads: “this is who you should call…if you have questions or need advise”.
They learn how to transition into a mother and a father role in the hours and days and months to follow
with little training and little encouragement.
It is my belief that being a parent is one of the few ‘tests’ of real selfishness.
Nothing can prepare you to become a patient parent
at two am when the screaming won’t stop or the diapers won’t end.
No class tells you how frustrating it is when laundry is piling up and
all you want to do is cry.
No class ever trains you how to push past the fatigue
when all you want to do is take a long nap.
Did you ever take a drivers ed class?
Remember when they went into full details of what car wrecks will look like if one doesn’t be careful.
Remember when they went into full details of how drunk driving hurts all those who are involved.
They required you to know the rules and regulations and what would happen if you failed
No one told you what would happen if you didn’t take care of your child
emotionally, physically and spiritually.
There were no classes that graded your ability to look beyond yourself and
test your rate of selfishness.
Nothing can prepare you.
No class ever trains you about the exhaustion of being a parent.
It is dangerous to place an innocent child into the hands of someone who does not get it.
Most of us didn’t get it right away
but we did our best to learn our new reality.
That babies need fed, bathed and nurtured 24 hours a day and
if you do get a small break you are one of the fortunate ones.
No class ever trains you on how to stay mature and focused and
not be distracted or selfish when caring for a little one.
I will go further and say no class ever trains you on what to say
when your little one looks up and asks you,
“am I pretty or special or do you love me?”
A mature parent will move into that role easily and say to them
“of course I love you, of course you are beautiful, of course you are very special to me.”
Some parents can never do that.
There is no bank of emotional encouragement that they can withdraw from
There is no “I love you this much” … in their hearts.
They begin as a new parent disengaged and they stay that way.
Perhaps they love somewhere in their hearts.
Perhaps they only love themselves.
For those who are ‘grown up now’ and who were were raised in these kind of homes
mothers day and fathers day are one of the most difficult holidays for them.
They do not make cards that say:
“Thank you for the broken heart, it’s taken me years to get over it.”
Or “Thank you for giving me reasons to spend many years in therapy trying to heal from my wounds.”
Or “I am finally realizing that it never was about me… it was about you and your inability to love me”.
They do not make cards that are meant for those parents
who could never and would never
give the unconditional love that all children deserve.
For the adult child who never lived on Walton’s mountain or little house on the prairie valley
this is a difficult holiday.
They find themselves standing in the card section of a hallmark store with tears falling down their frozen cheeks and they wonder ‘what it would be like to have the other story’ as a reality.
There are no cards for their life experiences.
On this Mothers day can we remember as we look around in church or other settings
that not all families are equal.
Some families didn’t have the mom and dad and 2.5 children.
Some families only had a dad raising little ones alone.
Some families only had a mom raising little ones alone.
Some families had grandparents raising little children alone.
Let’s be real and realize that not every family is a hallmark ‘movie’ family.
Let’s be real and be ready to give someone a hug on Mothers day
we won’t ever know where their heart really is unless they tell us.