Thursday, October 26, 2017

Things I do differently

To be sure, I AM my mother's daughter.  I inherited her metabolism, the Mongolian eye-fold, and a love of reading from her. 

I AM definitely my father's daughter, also... though I didn't get the Wegener's Jewish nose, I do see him when I look in the mirror. 

I learned many many things from my parents. 

I learned about farming, and butchering, and milking cows, and how to drive a stick-shift (first on a tractor!).  I learned to can produce, and to freeze it, and to process the meat we had just butchered.  I learned who to go to for help in my math (Thanks, dad, for carrying me through Trig!!).  I learned to love animals, and quiet outdoor spaces, and unpolluted night skies.  I learned how to pinch a penny until it screams....and then to pinch it a bit further.  I learned a lot from my parents. 

I also learned some negative things.  My husband reminds me often that we can always learn from people, even those with whom we DEEPLY disagree. 

In that vein, I learned how not to parent.  I learned how to drive my children away.  I learned an up-close-and-personal definition of mental illness.  In short, I learned that I wanted to do things differently than my parents least some things. 

In order to accomplish that, I have parented differently.  I have intentionally built positive relationships with my children, with the aim that they WANT a relationship with me, and with God...instead of having one out of fear.  I have tried to instill in my children the idea that it is a show of strength to recognize one's limits and to ask for help when it is needed.  I have worked to admit my faults, mistakes, and blunders, and to ask for forgiveness.  I have worked (with the amazing help of my husband) to give my children freedom within limits, so that they have room to grow and to learn on their own. 

I have done a LOT of things differently...this is just the beginning. 

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