I've often felt like a failure as a mom. Still do sometimes. It was rough raising our kids; they came with a lot of "stuff" they had no control over.
When they were little, I was pretty sure that with enough love, sunshine, therapy and nutritious food, they'd all turn out perfect. I'd have handsome sons and beautiful daughters who loved visiting Mom and Dad, who were all active Catholics and who stunned everyone who met them by all they'd overcome.
You might imagine reality is a bit different.
It must be my fault that 4 of my 5 kids don't go to church. It must be my fault that I've got two kids that struggle with drug and alcohol issues. It has to be my fault that I've done more psych hospitalizations than most ER attendings. I had social workers on speed dial for years. I knew several of our county sheriffs by their first names. This was not your typical parenting, people!
I look around at peers, and I see their kids doing the seemingly "normal" young adult thing: college, jobs, sports. There are the Facebook posts about Dean's Lists and sorority sisters and internships. That's not our story.
Our story is really...lumpy. And not pretty. And hard. Our story has a lot of anger and crying and total misunderstandings and how the hell did I miss THATs??
Eric Clapton, the British blues musician, wrote a song about Mary. Yeah, that Mary - the Mother of God. He wrote it in rehab. He says he was never much of a believer, but he was so desperate, he cried out to his mother: Somehow I know you're still there
Send me please some peace of mind
Take away this pain
I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait for you
I've cursed your name a thousand times
I've felt the anger running through my soul
All I need is a hand to hold.