I want my children to feel safe, secure, and whole. But I’ll never be enough.
I want my kids to act with confidence, move beyond their mistakes, and learn to forgive. But I’ll never be enough.
I want to chase away all of my children’s fears, subdue their anger, and heal all of their hurts. But I’ll never be enough.
I want my children to lead joyful, successful lives, and be better for their challenges. But I’ll never be enough.
I teach, encourage, admonish, listen, cry, laugh, cheer, hug, holler, remind, and listen again. Sometimes I have the perfect words for the moment. Sometimes all I can do is hold them. But I’ll never be enough.
I’ll never be enough because I am not meant to be. As much as I long to protect my children from all pain, remove their worries, and erase their problems, I am not meant to.
When I try to be enough, I fail everyone. I’ll never remove all of the hurt a bully causes, but I can help my children know their worth, no matter what others say. I’ll never give them the right words for every situation, but I can teach them to trust their instincts, apologize when they stumble, and speak again. I can’t sit with them on their test and give them the answers, but I can encourage them in learning, trying, and applying themselves to difficult subjects. They won’t get the confidence to try again from me, but I can show them how to move past mistakes, forgive themselves, and find courage.
I can light a spark of confidence with encouragement, but my children have to act confidently. I can wrap a wounded heart with my love, but they have to let it mend. I can lift a spirit with supportive words, but my children have to learn the tools to fill their own spirits. I can demonstrate my belief in their ability, but they have to train, try, fail, and succeed. I can offer my hope, but my children have to find their own to sustain them.
My job is not to give my children confidence, hope courage, self-worth, joy, and knowledge, but to help them find these within themselves. I can love them and believe in them. I can be their guide and companion until they realize that they are enough on their own. And I can be here to remind them when they forget.
Their world might begin with me, but they are meant to travel far beyond the reach of my arms. Perhaps that is the true definition of bittersweet – teaching your children to thrive outside of the circle of your arms.