Friday, September 12, 2014

Real life.

I've never written about addiction and rarely talk about it. I'd much rather be talking about the new must have black denim pants or that new piece of furniture I just chalk painted the crap out of, but no. Today I am going to touch on this taboo subject and how it has affected me and how I openly talk about it with my children.

I see my kids growing up. They change so much every day. When I first became a mom, people would always tell me that it will go by in a flash and instead of cry, like I think they wanted me to, I would usually roll my eyes and think "Gosh, I hope so" because you do sometimes because sometimes it's hair pulling. Now that I have one in first grade, another in Pre-K, and one of the verge, I feel it. I feel a desperate urgency to teach them because I can't hold them as close as I once could. I guess that's really our job, isn't it? To be teachers. We teach because we've been there and we want them to have a heads up of what's coming their way and how they should handle it, right? It seems like it should be simple and come naturally, but what I've learned is that flying by the seat of your pants doesn't work, most of the time in parenting. You have to be intentional. I think one of the biggest mistakes we can make, as parents, is to withhold guidance from our children because we are afraid that talking about addiction, sex, or whatever gives them permission to go buck wild or, for pete sake, will cause us to fall down from their pedestal. I had someone tell me, once, to be careful not to share too much with my children because it would cause them to think differently of me. I. Do. Not. Care. If you know me, you know that I told them that :) I love my babies ferociously and I am going to seize those moments. That's what we have- little moments and we have to make the most of them, so when those big things arise, they turn to us for guidance and all those moments of love and honesty will be worth it. Communication with our kids is all about the approach, heart, and a trust relationship that starts from day one.

I'm a wife, a daughter, a mother, a friend, and a sister. I'm a sister without a sister. My sister is an addict and has been for over 10 years now. I love her more than words could ever explain. Though the walls of distance are great, her life is very much apart of me.
Over the years people have made comments about how different she and I are. Yes, now the differences are great, but that wasn't always the case. I could have went the same route as my sister and I didn't. I made what, at the time, was a small choice that she didn't make and it has changed my whole life. And, I am intentional that it will change my children's life. Whether my sister knows now or later, her life has meaning to me. I will find hope out of her choices of pain.  

I've been waiting years for my sister to decide stop. For some reason, it just hasn't happened yet, but I know in my heart that she will someday. I don't want addiction to win, so whether my sister shares her testimony of change one day, or not, I'm going to start. Her 27th birthday is tomorrow and instead of it being a day of sadness and regret, Friday will hold a different meaning for me. My sister is still here and I am a mama. A mama with a lot of moments ahead of me. I better get after it.