Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Raising Children

Many people that I know have young children. As they struggle with the day to day responsibilities and challenges of raising these children they sometimes wonder if the children will ever grow up and whether they as parents will survive it all. The short answer is that the children will grow up and the parents will survive these years. However, their role as parents will always exist even when today's children are tomorrow's adults. I have two sons who are “thirtyish”. My oldest son drove me crazy when he was a teenager. However, he has turned out much better than expected. He is a good son. After he was blindsided with his now ex wife's request for a divorce, I think he has really stepped up to the plate as a parent with my only granddaughter. My oldest son and I are very different but he and his mother are like two peas from the same pod. He and I often butted heads in the past but now we get along very well. My other son is a clone of me although he would probably never admit that. He is two years away from being a Catholic priest and just recently completed a summer internship at a local hospital in their pastoral care office. Most of the summer he’s had to deal with some very sensitive life experiences, like death, and to provide comfort to people in pain. Now he gets to lay around my house, eat my food, and play video games for the next month before returning to school for his third year of theological studies. Prior to beginning his studies four years ago there was no indication whatsoever that he might want to be a priest. What’s the point of all this? Well, it’s to give you some hope with your own children especially if you are finding parenthood a real struggle and you wonder how your children will turn out. Most children turn out fine despite our own weaknesses and failures. I think I screwed up a lot as a parent but I did try to instill some positive values and guidelines in my children. All I really wanted them to be is who they are and, hopefully, decent human beings. It appears I have been successful although neither of them ever voluntarily took out the garbage.

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