Expectations. Our lives revolve around these. We expect certain things to happen or be a certain way as a result of our actions. Most of the time, our expectations are reasonable. If we set our alarm, we expect it to go off. If we put lemon in our water, we expect it to taste better. If we eat that entire carton of ice cream, we expect our pants not to fit in the morning. There is some logic involved in our expectations.
Then there are the times when our expectations are totally not reasonable or logical. We plan the perfect lesson and expect a standing ovation from our students and admin. We clean our entire house and expect it to stay clean for more than ten minutes. We flirt with the perfect guy and we expect him to fall madly in love with us. We set ourselves up for failure.
There are times when we have expectations that really do seem totally reasonable. We do the time, do the work, we keep our head on straight…and things totally go south. This most often happens when it come to our children. At least that is my experience.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a perfect parent. If I had a chance to go back and do this all again…golly. Where would I start on changing things? I can see numerous times when I coulda, woulda, shoulda done things differently. Said no instead of yes, said yes instead of no, listened, talked, hugged…it’s really too much to think about.
I don’t think I’m a terrible mom though. I think the majority of parents have an every growing list of things they wish they could change as they raised their kids. (If I’m the only one, just humor me and don’t burst my bubble please.) I think my kids are pretty amazing overall. I admire their strength, compassion, and so much about them. I am in awe of them most of the time. There are just those few times when….I might want to disown them or blame their upbringing on someone else.
Unfortunately for me, there is no one else to blame for their upbringing. Being a single mom for the majority of their lives kind of puts me in the spotlight. Unless you recognize one little thing. Agency. That’s right, they had their choices. Yes, I was the one ‘in charge’ and the one that ‘called the shots’ for most things, but when it came right down to it, they had their choices.
My mom always points out that there is no such thing as ‘free-agency’. There is nothing ‘free’ about the choices we make. No matter what we choose, there is a consequence or a price to pay. Even if we choose not to choose, we still have made a choice. ( I cannot remember what song that is from! Help me!)
I expect my children to make mistakes. I expect them to have hard times. But, in the grand scheme of things, I also expect them to learn from those mistakes and to make it through those hard times. I expect that when it is all said and done, we will all be able to look back on this life and see the good things that came from both our good and bad choices. We will see the scars and tears, but also the strength and mountains we have moved.
I may expect a lot, but that is what I like to call faith. I believe this is all for a grand purpose and it will all work out.
It’s what is expected.
Cause I said so.
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