Inspiration, The Children

“The Year of the 1st’s”…The Introduction

Recently, as many of you know, I have taken on the enormous yet honorable role of raising three adorable children who’s parents have passed on.  I thought I would be in for the hardest time when I found out that no one had been setting boundaries, teaching them how to take care of their bodies or their home.  I thought that life would be sad, difficult in that nothing would be as it appears. There would be outbursts, anger fits, and tears. I was wrong. Kids are more resilient than people give them credit.

These three are no different. In the coming months I hope to introduce you to each of their unique personalities.  I hope to show you through their stories how trials and joy bubble up without permission.  I hope that you, as I have will fall in love with them, want to fight for them, and ultimately join me in encouraging these kids.  They need a cheerleader, and a parent who loves them as they do their own.  That’s me.

I wonder if you’ll be interested in learning about all the firsts?  You see, people think about the emotions of the loss, but what they forget is that life for all the wonderfulness of not knowing what is about to happen is all about moving on.  The first birthday without either of their parents.  The first time they plan for their future without their parents. It’s about the moments that come and go and will ever be shared with mom or dad.  Even something incredibly joyful and to see that bright face turn around and exclaim how much they want to share it with– and then there’s the realization that that person isn’t around anymore.

As they become their own individual souls who embrace their special talents, the path to success begins to reveal itself.  Learning to love, and to give thanks to those who support them is making these kids into powerful beings.  They’re more than just victims and then survivors. These kids are amazing beautiful children who are happy more than 90 percent of their day. They’re hopeful. They’re productive.  It’s a full-on-board all hands on deck inclusive and enthusiastic approach to teaching, guiding and molding behaviors.

The Children

Why did God choose me?

Three years ago she asked, “Will you love them like they’re your own?” And I answered, “Of course!”  Did I understand the consequences of my agreement at the time? Probably not!  I believe I just wanted then what I want now, and that is to be part of the proverbial “village” that is needed to raise the kids?

Three years of not being able to hug a parent, or play ball, or talk to them, or shop, or eat dinners, or believe that the security they provide is actually going to last?  These kids came to me broken.  They’re all riddled with the absence of constant attention. Their grades plummeted.  Their behaviors were horrible.  It wasn’t because their mom and dad didn’t love them.  In fact, what really matter is that the base of a good kid is in each one due to the fact that their parent’s adored them!  They’re all just sucking the life out of everything they can, because they each believe that people come into our lives, and then they leave.

In the process of becoming the authority, the responsible adult, the security blanket, poor Aunt Rebecca became the disciplinarian. Yes, and in doing that, I lost my fun Aunt Rebecca title and became, “mean Aunt Rebecca!” I have to tell you that the beginning was not as much fun as I thought it was going to be. In the end, though, this journey is proving to be an incredibly honorable experience. I’m not only learning about them, but the second turn of raising a set of kids is forcing me to learn more of myself.

There’s so much to do.  There’s so much to say.  There’s so many things that I want to teach them.  Much to prepare them for.  I’m up to the challenge. I am.  Sometimes, I fade into the despair of what it must be like to lose both your parents at once.  Sometimes I weep because they didn’t know how absolutely incredibly loved their parents were.

Here’s what I do know. I try every single day to be a better person. To be kind and put the frustrations of my inadequacies behind me.  I don’t show weakness to the children. I show them consistency. I know I am not supposed to be their friend, I am the person who puts them before myself, or anyone or anything. That’s my job.  I don’t take it lightly.  It is my belief that I am profoundly and irrevocably committed to their overall happiness and well being.

I’m no longer complain. I try to do things a little different and let go of my own expectations.  I’m not going to try and reason or understand because it does me no good. I’m not going to spend this year lost in the muck of pain and anger of what has been lost, or what will come when the ultimate loss is paid.  All I can do is push through to the good, the joy of what I see in the community around me. Take stock in the kindness of others and not ask what the angle is. To revel in the fact that I have the skills necessary to do this job and thank the good Lord he saw fit to prepare me for this journey.

I pray every day that I do a job that deserves praise.  I love them. Unconditionally. I may never know why God chose me, but what I do know, is that I thank God every day that he did.  Amen.

Inspiration

Capture Time While you Can

One of the things that I have done since my children were little is capture the innocence as they grew. For me, I learned at a VERY early age that people come and go from your life. There is no guarantee. For that reason I have never told my children, “I will always be there to protect you.” We all die and I knew that was not something I could promise. It’s important to me that when I do promise something I at least think I am telling the truth. When my daughter was 5 she told me about what her wedding would be like. It was then when I wrote my first letter to her. I wrote everything she said and what she wanted it to be. From the pink pretty brides maid dresses to the green ribbons she wanted around the waist. It was extraordinary detail. She put her tiny hands together and prayed that it would be just so. I wrote her wished and stuck it in an envelope and then I addressed it, “Open on your wedding day.” Since then I have written many of the letters from the mouth of babes and titled them “Open on your 16th Birthday. Open on this date etc.” They are old enough they’ve begun to open several of them. My goal was that if they lost me before they became an adult they would know how much I loved them, I listened to them and I cherished their words. Sure enough when they open them they cry tears of joy. I am just glad that I am still alive so i can see it. Last year I gave my daughter a homemade year book with all the cliche advice attached I’d given her all these years. Words of wisdom like “be careful where your head goes because your heart will follow and always without your permission.” The photo-book had tons of photos from the 9th to the 12th grade. Photos never submitted to the schools that I took along the way. Hugging friends, wearing costumes, classes, seminars, groups and sports along the way. She held it tight and she cried. Touching someone doesn’t cost anything. It’s just a willingness to give a little bit of your time to do something profound enough that impacts them in a positive way even if it takes time or effort to do it. The reward for both of you will be greater than you ever expected! Now I am working on her college years. Yeah….! Thank you Facebook for IOS Photos!