There are many things that are beyond my control. In my younger years I believed I had a major impact on just about everything. It’s taken hitting ‘middle-age’ and having seven children to make me understand that I really have only a minimal ability to influence and almost no power to control anything beyond myself.
My kids have long accused me of being a ‘control-freak,’ and while they were little I probably was. Heavens, there were so many of them – if we didn’t have a plan, a schedule, a routine or a system, chaos ensued.
Teenagers, however, have a way of destroying plans and systems. Their search for independence makes them quite egocentric. That egocentricity often throws the family balance out the window. So, from my kids I learned to relax, to go with the flow a little more. I learned to be less reactive when ‘my’ systems were disregarded – as they frequently were. I learned to quietly enforce pieces that needed to be in place for the well-being of the family.
One thing that is joyfully out of my control is the addition of grand babies. Grand baby #7, a granddaughter, Shay, is due anytime in the next few weeks. I have been so delighted that her mom, who is attached to our son #4, one of our ‘daughters from another mother,’ has kept me ‘in the loop.’ They live across town. Their work schedules don’t allow us to get together as often as we’d like, but she texts me regularly with updates and questions about pregnancy and child-rearing.
One thing that is within my control is the ability to show all of my children and their partners how much I love them. This I learned early on in my children’s pairing off experiences. Once my child chooses a partner, my ‘job’ is to love their partner. The return on investment is fabulous!
I don’t have any control over when Shay will be born. That is truly beyond my control.