This happened about a month ago. I was listening to a man talk about his children. We’ll call him Frank.
“I am close to two of them, but the other, well, we just never got along.”
Past tense. Like it’s too late. I leaned forward, I wanted to hear Frank explain his thoughts.
Later, that same evening, I heard another, a woman this time. We can call her Edith.
“I love one, but the other, we just never clicked, if you know what I mean.”
I swear, before I left, here’s what else I heard.
“But that fourth one! He and I were never close. We just never got to know one another.”
Four times that night, I heard someone say “I love my kids, but…” and the conversation drifted off into some unknown.
I had to think about that for a bit. I was afraid to say a word to anyone else.
Sue and I were blessed with three young boys. Today, they’re young, responsible men.
Sometimes, during those teen age and college years, I prayed hard. Now that I think about it, I prayed a whole lot during that time in my life.
“Lord, I’m fighting a good fight with them, but I need some help. I’m afraid they’re going to win this battle. Please help us?”
Today, we are all blessed. We all survived. My prayers have been answered. I’m on my knees being thankful.
Now I pray for three young men, their three wives and their children. My grandchildren. I’m praying harder now than ever.
Back to my thoughts today.
I listened as four different parents shared different stories about their children. About all I could do was nod my head. They were a lot younger than I am. I wanted to help.
You know how we men can be. We think we can fix just about any problem. We grow up learning how to solve problems and fix things.
“Do you want some advice? Let me give you some, I’ve got buckets full.”
I know, that stuff falls on deaf ears.
You see, today’s parents, well, they don’t want to listen.
Maybe it was a problem they didn’t want solved. Some people are like that.
I am amazed at how siblings can be so different. I’m as different as night and day when it comes to who I am and who my siblings are. We were raised by the same parents, we grew up in the same household. For the most part, we had the same rules. Yet, we are so different. A forever question: Why?
And, our three sons, again, as different as the clouds in the sky. All three have a different set of talents. And, to communicate with them, you have to use three different approaches. That’s life.
I’m still learning.
The challenge is learning to be flexible. Learning to listen.
But to say “I love my kids, but…” I don’t think that statement ever entered my mind.
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