What Have You...
given up for your child?
In the wake of the London Vacation Tragedy (as I now refer to it in my head), I find myself teetering on the edge of feeling sorry for myself and feeling grateful to be able to take good care of Lily. I allowed myself one weekend to feel all the pain about cancelling our vacation plans, and then I had to move on. I confess I still have to be careful not to spend much time on Facebook, because it feels like everyone and their third cousin has just traveled, is traveling, or is going to travel to somewhere amazing. If I dwell there too long, I feel a pity party coming on and I have to be super-duper careful not. to. go. there.
Over the past week, though, I've challenged myself to think about what I, as a parent, continually give up in order to be a parent. It's not just one trip to London. Parenting is a lifelong act of giving up. Everything from sleep to a trim waistline, from complaint-free meals to song choices on the radio, from financial abundance to worry free evenings, you give up a lot. But would I have it any other way? Certainly not. Despite the fact that I still spend way too much of my free time attempting to match up socks, I would be the most selfish person on the planet were it not for my kids and the lessons they teach me about letting go. Letting go of having things my way in order to embrace a new way of doing things.
And unless you grew up in a cave, someone gave up a whole lot in order to raise you. Regardless of your relationship with your parents or caregivers, you are a walking, talking, functioning member of society because someone sacrificed for you. Their time. Their money. Their season in life to travel. Whatever.
So London is currently off the table of things we're looking forward to, but my day-to-day bursts of joy are not. They remain ever present. Ever there. Ever reminding me that my sacrifices are not equal to the love I receive.
Besides, maybe someday the doors will open for us to go to Holland.