Someday, you will understand.
Someday, you will see your lives through my eyes. Someday, when you are old enough to have your own children, you will know me differently than you know me now. You’ll understand why I acted in certain ways – or failed to act – when you thought at the time I perhaps did not notice, or care.
Someday you will understand that during those times when I didn’t try to solve your problems, I was closest by your side.
I do hope that, someday, you will understand. Perspective changes everything.
I quietly watch by the sidelines as you try new things. Sometimes you soar, and sometimes you struggle. Your internal debate is evident in your body language, as you will yourself to carry on despite being tempted to quit. Sometimes, I can actually see the light flickering off in your eyes.
Until you have children of your own, you will never understand how hard it is to be a silent bystander. Standing outwardly stoic as you, my child, struggle is a special kind of cruel torture, designed especially for parents. Every ounce of my being wants to protect you from disappointment and hurt.
You may wonder why I don’t rush to your side when you suffer a setback. Don’t mistake my apparent indifference as a lack of guidance. Parenting is a composition of words and actions, often seemingly callously-calculated to leave you out on a limb…to figure things out for yourself.
But, perspective is a funny thing, Someday, you may come to understand that I was your puppet master all along. I never left your side.
Until that day, you may think I am hard on you. I make you navigate your everyday challenges and see them through, no matter how difficult. Although giving up may seem easier, that route will turn on you in the long run.
It will trap you in a fortress of self-doubt, stunt you from living a successful and joyous life, and implicitly give credence to unfounded low expectations and unflattering caricatures.
But hard work, spunk, and fortitude can help you overcome almost any obstacle. So, I will instruct you to carry on, work hard, and never forget what you love about what you do, play and learn.
Someday, this will assure you that anything you put your mind to is possible, and will arm you with a quiet confidence that can be rattled but never destroyed. It will open otherwise locked doors and prevent you from being a victim of individuals or circumstances. It will become an insurance policy that can never be canceled.
As is the way in life, people will make quick assumptions based more on labels rather than who you actually are.
When I was a young adult, my own stubbornness and determination fueled my will to succeed in the face of such doubts. After awhile, I proved my own worth and eventually silenced the biggest critic of all - myself. That is something naysayers, gossips and the most challenging of circumstances can never steal away.
And so, this life lesson is being passed on to you.
You don’t have to be the best, but if you are your best, you will play on. And the possibilities will be endless.
This, I promise you.
Brenda Donoghue juggles a full-time career with raising two boys in Central Massachusetts. Her writing is inspired by occasional flashes of insight during the chaotic grind, which she strives to navigate with humor and grace.