We love our children and as we welcome them into the world our entire lives shift toward them and their well being. We worry and sometimes we overstep our bounds instead of standing back and watching even if we don't like what we see.
In some cases, as parents we can no longer remain as one. Our arguments become fights and the gloves come off and we can't take back the ugly things we have done and the hurtful things we have said. We lose our love for each other but we keep our love for our children. We carry the guilt of the mornings they wake up and can't see both their parents and the nights they go to bed much the same.
Sometimes we stay together even if we don't want to anymore because what we want and what our children need are two very different things.
Eventually they make their choices - the real choices - the ones that take their lives from one stage to the next. They choose their careers, their partners and we hope they carry with them the values we worked so hard to instill. We hope they have learned to like themselves for who they truly are, who they have become; even if we still haven't managed to like or find ourselves.
Sometimes they choose the right partners to share their lives with and other times they don't. Sometimes even if all is well you don't necessarily agree with their choice of partner. You can't explain it but something doesn't feel right. Just the same, you stand off in a corner and watch, watch the black and white filmstrip fall further toward the ground.
A baby is born and this time around you are a grandparent. It's an incredible experience because you see so much of your children in your grandchildren and you are given one of life's greatest gifts, another chance at unconditional love.
You watch your children become parents and walk the same road that you did in what seems to be only yesterday but that yesterday is far off in the past. They make mistakes, they hurt, they love their children and they learn. You witness them and their children in the same trial and error that is the chess game of life.
And it goes on and on. Your family grows. There is always someone arriving and there is always someone departing. There is always something to celebrate and there is always something to mourn.
But somehow, someway, we manage to bring it all together and make it happen. It's complicated this thing called life and it's a testament to who we are as people but most especially as parents.
From the very first moment of their lives and from the very last moment of ours, we live through our children and inevitably they live through us.
Their mistakes - Lessons.
Ours mistakes- Tests.
And whether we pass or fail - our children remain our greatest accomplishments.