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A place that feels like home

Posted by PandaLily , 10 June 2013 · 70 views

My son draws houses. If you look through his drawing book there are pages and pages of houses. Simple houses with two windows and a door and a chimney that blows smoke. Sometimes there is a trampoline in the yard, sometimes there is a barn. Usually there are trees and sunshine and grass and flowers. The colors change. The size, the shape and features around the house might vary. But the obsession with the house is constant.

I wonder sometimes, what it is that my son is looking for when he draws and dreams about a house. We talk about it, but I feel that there are words that he is unable or unwilling to share. And I know it's fully possible that this could be me projecting, but I wonder if it isn't the things inside the house... the connection and the feelings and the sense of home... that he is missing. I guess I wonder if he feels it, because I know that it is true.

For years I have provided, mostly on my own, for these three children. Three children who I adore beyond reason and whose faces fill my heart with love to nearly bursting. I have worried about their safety and their education. I have indulged their whims and shared their laughter as I worked so hard to pay the bills and provide them with all of the things that they need and some of the things that they want. But in this time, and at some times more than others, because I have been limited, there is so much more that I know I have been unable to provide. It pains me deeply, knowing that there is damage that I have caused. There are hurts and wounds that will be theirs to bear that are a legacy of my parenting.

And I know full well that this is something that all parents struggle with. I know that we, as human as we are, cannot always provide the perfect environment or be the perfect parent that each child needs. Still, I fear I have fallen unacceptably short. I am not the parent that I know my children deserve. And please... please understand that these words are not written as a search for platitudes. They come from a place that's devoid of both self-pity and self-deprecation. They come instead from a place that is full of humility and painful self-awareness. An awareness that it's more than possible that in being limited, for so very long, I have let them down in concrete and measurable ways.

In my quest for healing I send prayers to the universe that I might somehow be able to make amends for these wrongs. I know that what is done can never be undone, and as much as I am changed for the experiences of my past, my children will be changed for theirs. But they are young still. Young enough, I hope, that it is possible that somehow, in healing myself, I can come to heal this family.

I may never be able to provide my son with the house that he dreams of, but I believe, maybe, it is possible that I can provide him with so much more. I can build for him... for all of us... a place that feels like home.

July 2016

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