I’ve never believed that our lives are pre-destined or pre-determined. I don’t believe there is a “grand plan” in place when you’re born – for me or my kids. In fact, I rail against the very thought. I do believe that we are given a life and how we choose to live that life and deal with the good, the bad and the ugly is ours to navigate. As a parent, I believe my children make their destiny but I have both an opportunity and a responsibility to give them a base from which to build.
For example, my oldest daughter just got her first job as a cashier at a small market in town. I have mixed feelings about this job as she just told me she chose not to try out for a school play because of this job. What about her college resume? What about her grades? What about the chemistry and algebra classes she is already struggling to understand?
So we talked. I shared my concerns, and after the resolute “oh mommmmmmmm please, it’s just a job,” we came to an understanding that the job could be a good thing but if the grades decline, the job goes. I don’t know if this is the “right” decision because I know far too well the competitiveness of college and that a job isn’t going to matter on that application. However, I also heard my daughter tell me how important it was for her to have some independence, a little cash in her pocket, and a boost to her confidence.
By listening to her while expressing my concerns I hope I showed her I care enough to let her go but not without my guidance and few rules along the way.
As for my own destiny…..it was pretty much a foregone conclusion on January 13, 1963 when I was born that I would be a workaholic. So maybe there is something to the grand plan, as I do hail from a long line of workaholics. That said, I learned somewhere along the way, from parents, friends and therapists, that trying to balance that part of my life with being a good mom is part of my destiny – a part I hope both of my daughters will learn from and live by.