She taught me something about love…

She taught me something about being a parent. She taught me something about love. She loved him enough to call him out. And though we don’t talk about the dirt, I will always respect her for that.

She taught me something about being a parent; we have to love our kids enough to call them out. She loved him a lot. This concept goes far beyond parenting. It is one of the core concepts of love; to challenge lovingly. To be called out is not a lack of love, it is part of the essence of love. To love enough to say, “I love you. These are your strengths. This is what you need to work on”. To be challenged with love is not the same as criticism, or judgment.

Criticism and judgment are in an arena all by themselves. There is no grace. There is no love.

We all need this. If we are not called out by the ones we love and trust, there is little growth.

When I married Eric, I became joined to a family that was very different from what I had known. This is honest. But different should not be interpreted as negative.

I know that she noticed more than she said.

The first time I realized this I was living in their home. We had moved there when I was eight months pregnant. I was hesitant about moving there.

Maybe it was the fact that we were young. Maybe it was the fact that he was scared. Maybe it was the fact that he wasn’t ready. Maybe he was fighting demons long before I realized it.

I will never know for sure.

He drove me out to a sugar cane field once. I was 9 months pregnant. He got out of the car and told me to leave. “No one wants you here!” He drove away and left me in the cane field.

There are no street signs on the back roads of Louisiana. There are miles and miles of cane fields.

I found my way back to his parents’ house and lay down. I was too tired to fight. I was too tired to fly.

He wanted us to move to Louisiana following my discharge from the US Navy.  When we got there, he fell apart. Perhaps life was moving faster than he could keep up. He ran. He ran to a bartender at a little bar on the outskirts of town.

She never said much to me. I remember going out to the kitchen in the early morning hours. He had still not returned. She met me where I was, but didn’t say much. She looked out the window towards the driveway. She saw that his car was not there. She turned around without saying a word and locked the door.

The following day, she met him where he was, at a little bar on the outskirts of town. He was playing pool when she arrived. Not much was said. Not much needed to be said. Her presence of meeting him where he was said a lot.

I left Louisiana shortly after that night.

I left Eric many times in the 9 years of marriage. This was not the first and it would not be the last.

She taught me something about being a parent. She taught me something about love. She loved him enough to call him out. And though we don’t talk about the dirt, I will always respect her for that.

© LifeasChristine, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to LifeasChristine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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