We want our families to be perfect. They’re not. The hell of it is we can’t choose the families we come from, we can only choose to turn away from them or embrace them.
The fact of being human is we are human. We say things which are stupid and thoughtless. We hold our families to standards we don’t ourselves measure up to. And sometimes, even our best just isn’t enough. For some, there are such gaping holes there is never enough.
At 51, my life is full just trying to parent well, work and create my life each day. I am done living that life to please anyone else except Benjamin and me. Of course I also have to continue to please an employer, but I love my work and am lucky enough to have pleasing the employer be a subset of pleasing myself.
Today, as a part of my new job, I presided over the finalization of three adoptions. The family that really got to me was a couple who four kids. This adoption today added the youngest brother and oldest sister to their existing two, making it a quartet of kids.
I couldn’t help but hope that it’s more hopeful for families that actually do choose each other. No doubt Benjamin, and each of those four chosen kids from today's docket, will have complaints about how they were parented. The trick is to learn something in each generation, hoping to improve the outcome for the next.
There are no guarantees, only promises to listen and keep trying, and always, no matter what, love.
And that is enough.