In honor of today’s momentous occasion–one year since DJ’s adoption was finalized–I thought it would be a nice time to return to my long-ignored blog.
It may sound trite, but I’ve really grown to understand on a deeper level over this past year the idea that life is a journey. Sometimes you make steady progress forward and other times it feels like you’re right back to where you started, but most of the time, it’s navigating the bumps and turns in the road.
There have been times this year that I questioned my ability to be a good mother to DJ–times when I lost my temper or spoke without thinking it through. But I’ve also learned a heck of a lot about myself and this crazy world of parenting.
I’ve learned that “maybe” is “almost yes” to an 11-year-old. I’ve learned that consistency is about the best thing that we can provide for DJ, but sometimes we need to pick our battles. (And for the most part, those battles seems to be decreasing in both duration and intensity.) I’ve learned that it is okay to lean on my friends and family, and that it doesn’t make me any lesser of a parent. I’ve learned that sometimes DJ is going to act in ways that disappoint or embarrass me, and that’s okay because my job is to help him learn from his mistakes.
My original goals for parenting have shifted a little, too. Instead of hoping to raise a child who is happy and kind and knows that he is loved, I’ve moved more toward raising a child who can be happy and kind and know that he is loved. The difference is subtle but significant. Frankly, DJ has been through a lot in his young life. There are things that I can never “fix” or “erase” from his life experiences, and more and more I don’t have an urge to do either. I love him exactly as he is, and I’m so proud of the boy he has become. And almost as important, I’m proud of the parents that John and I have become, too.
It has been a difficult, wonderful year, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.