Lately I’ve been feeling pretty frustrated about the attitude that Daughter has had with me. I’ve written about it in a few ways, and I’ve written about ways that I have attempted to handle it. Some of them have been successful, and some have been less so. Even when I have a day or a moment in the win column, I still need to have the opportunity to vent. A while back I was talking to someone who is a huge help to me as a parent and she was telling me that Daughter is so easy. I am so lucky. I have no idea how hard kids can be.
There are a few issues I have with that. First of all, I was a teacher for a dozen years. I was a paraprofessional educator before then. I was a camp counselor and a babysitter. Long story short, I kinda know kids. I have been part of the lives of children who are “easy” and children who are, because life made them so, “hard.” What I know from this is that there really is no such thing as an “easy” child, though there are varying degrees of hard. Every kid needs something from the adults in their lives, and it is almost always more than we have to give. So even though people might not think Daughter is hard in the traditional sense, she can be very hard for us as her parents. Her issues are difficult for us to handle, just as any other child’s issues would be difficult for their parents.
The general idea is this: your problems are your problems. Period. All you know is what you’re up against, and since everyone has their own issues, no one has it easy. Sometimes, I admit, I’m thankful that my problems are what they are. I know I don’t have a child who was born with a drug addiction, I don’t have a child up against most prejudices, or dealing with a major learning disability. As thankful as I am, that doesn’t make me lucky. It does make me different. It does make my life maybe less hard. Daughter may not be “hard” to you, but my problems are my problems, and I will do all I can to handle them with grace.