Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Harder Than Growing Up

Growing up seems to be a lot harder for me to watch than it was for me to do. At least that's what I am thinking now.

I am watching my kids grow up. They are only 6 and 7 years old, but they have already changed a lot, and experienced a lot. A lot of it has been good, and I have had the privilege of watching them exult in their first baseball hit, successful skate, caught ball, ride of the bike without training wheels, and much more.

Other things though have been less pleasant. I have had to watch my kids struggle with the death of a pet. I have watched them cope with a new school, leaving friends, and grapple with loneliness and even bullies.

The thing is that their life is a lot easier than mine was. I was an only child, and mine was a very violent life. By the time I was 7 I was used to seeing my mom beat up by my dad, and the police were well known to me on weekends as they came to investigate what I now know are called "domestic disturbances." I was picked on and ostracized in school and would never have been permitted to stay in the school system by today's standards. I was in a fight most days.

I did not have an easy time growing up. I battled depression, and was having suicidal thoughts before I was even 10. But I would rather go through that again than watch my kids struggle with their own issues. I would spare them all the pain and accept all of their pain and more to do so.

Yes growing up is hard to do. But I am finding it harder to watch.

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