Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Children Are Not My Responsibility

 I refuse to take responsibility for my children.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, if you'd asked me what I wanted to be most in the world, toward the bottom of the list you would have found "mother". I wasn't stupid. I knew that to have children meant to give up ... your life. Since we're on the topic of lists, if you looked at my top ten characteristics, "nurturing", "selflessness", "empathy", "playful" are not adjectives used to describe me. "Driven", "independent", "resourceful", "funny as it relates to human beings above the age of 12", and "sarcastic" tended to top out the word sketch instead.

It took my husband and I nine years to rectify ourselves to the idea we were fast on the track to being alone and un-visited in the nursing home when we were ninety-two. No grandchildren (peace and quiet!) and a life one-hundred percent our own. It was quite glamorous. I backpacked Europe, wrote two books, indulged in trips to Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and Illinois (oh yeah!).

And then, it happened. I became willing to commit felony murder. I would kill anyone who touched, took, or toyed with a miniature, blonde-haired, blue-eyed version of her father. I became driven to learn more about Mickey Mouse, Bubbleguppies, and Bob the Builder all for the sake of a brown-eyed mini-me who could charm me into melted ooze with the curved up tilt of his mischievous grin. I became...responsible.


And to top it all off, I turned into a doomsayer. What if I died of breast cancer at thirty-nine? What if someone backed their car up and hit my daughter? What if there was a house fire and I had time to rescue only one of them, who would I choose? What if I died, my husband remarried, and she loved her own children more than mine? What if my daughter dates some boy who pretends to be all
wonderful spiritual but uses her and then tosses her away? What if my son is enticed into drinking with his buddies at sixteen and I have to go bail him out of Ju-V? What my daughter decided Jesus was a crap shoot and she was better off running her own life? What if my son turned his back on Biblical truth and took a jaunt down the seedy side of life? What if my husband died and I was left to take applications for his replacement at his funeral? What if I...

What if I didn't take responsibility for my children? What if I returned to the days when I was fancy free, living on a prayer, joyful in the future and hopeful for all the cool things God was gonna do? I realized, I was living my entire life on some screwed up idea that I was somehow in control. From the moment I stepped foot in Italy and went on a frantic search for gelato, to the minute my daughter tried to suck in her first breath and was rushed to the NICU. From the moment I climbed the foothills of Annapurna in Nepal, to the minute I asked my sister-in-law to take my newborn son home and make her his own because my post-partum depression consumed every ounce of myself.

I have NEVER been responsible. Never. Entrusted with, yes. Responsible, no. The overused verse on every plaque in the Christian bookstore still rings with truth: "I know the plans I have for you". His plans. His timing. His responsibility.

I don't regret having children. Au contraire.  My Kokomo Jo teaches me every day how to empathize, nurture, and engage in silliness. My Peter Pan is skilled in the art of mischief and mayhem and snuggles that melt the independence right off a mother. And while I hold their precious lives in my open hands, I lift them upward. They are not mine. They never were mine. They are the Lord's responsibility--ultimately--and He has given me the privilege of shaking up my life, plopping them in my arms and saying "I have plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope, and a future".

What responsibility have you lulled yourself into believing is yours, when really, it  belongs to the Lord?


Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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  1. Wow...you just make me speechless. You are truly amazing.

    1. Only enabled by a tremendously talented Admin Assist. :)

  2. I remember how freeing it was to realize that God loves my children more than I do. :)

  3. It's wonderful to realize God always has our best interests in His heart. We just have to listen.

  4. Beautifully said...just beautiful! You both are such good parents!

  5. Gee, Jaime, thanks for making me cry ;) Beautifully worded. I thank God for the gifts he's given you. (Your kids, and your writing talent, among others.)


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