I’m doing The Best I Can…
I know I’m not always perfect but please know that I’m really trying to do the best I can for you. It may not always seem like it, but I promise you I am trying my hardest to keep all things balanced—kid time, family time, work time…really, just time in general —balanced. It’s all just one big heap of minutes and seconds that are flying by me as you get older and move closer to the gates of college.
While it’s whizzing past me, please know these things:
Just because we have cereal for dinner doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
I know it’s not the best thing in the world to make, but sometimes after dealing with clients all day, returning a plethora of emails and fulfilling every business need that hits the front burner all I want to do is spend time with my family, not in the kitchen. And cereal is fast. Let’s slow down and play our high-low game and talk about our highs and lows of the day. I love that more than anything.
Just because you don’t get to go to Taco Bell as often as you would like doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
Quite the opposite. It’s easy to equate food with love. Because I’m not feeding you that GMO and chemical sh** storm it actually means I do love you. But it does worry me that you sometimes choose all that junk over the good stuff. Please eat your vegetables.
Just because I don’t let you do something doesn’t mean I’m a horrible, mean parent and it doesn’t mean I don’t trust you. It means I love you.
And I worry about you. And I promise I really do trust you completely it’s everyone else that I don’t trust. There are creepy people everywhere and if anything ever happened to you I don’t know what I would do. I know slowly but surely I need to loosen my grip but it’s all really hard. I’ve lost so many people who I love and the worst thing in the world ever would be losing you. So I panic. I promise you it’s not because I’m trying to be mean or a bad parent. I just don’t know what else to do other than say no. But I’m trying to figure it out as we go along and as you grow up.
I don’t choose to work because I don’t want to spend time with you.
I work not just to contribute to the household but also to show you the value of the dollar and that you can’t just expect people to go out and work for you and bring money and nice things home. Work and ingenuity are in your blood just as it’s in mine. I want to lead by example and show you that hard work brings good things. I know I miss out on a lot of things. We don’t get to pack up in the summer and head down to the beach all day. I don’t often make it in to the cafeteria to eat with you during your school lunch. Sometimes in the summer you spend more time on the computer than I would like. But remember when we went as a family and stood at the top of the Colosseum in Rome? Remember when we went to Santa Land and road the Rudy Coaster until it overheated and they finally kicked us off? I hope this is the way you remember me one day and not just me sitting behind a pile of papers with the computer screen glowing in my face. I wish I could figure out how to have more balance to all of this but I’m still working on figuring that part out. I’m doing the best I can.
It’s not just the big things you do that make me love you, it’s the small everyday things that make me love you.
Because life is not made in the grand gestures that are dreamed up, but rather in the quiet moments when it is just us sitting on the couch or laying in bed watching a movie together. It’s not laundry being done, it’s the things we did to get the laundry dirty. It’s not in having a big, nice house, but having a shelter for us all to go and to be ourselves.
Even though I don’t say it every day, I’m so proud of you.
If I could take all the kids in the world and throw them in a pile and pick the perfect kids, I would pick you guys out every time. You are my perfect. And, even though I’m not perfect, I hope that you always know that every day when I get up, whether I wake up on the right or the wrong side of the bed, whether I break down and cry because you said something and I’m being emotional, you are my perfect. And I’m so proud of all that you are becoming and all that you are.
Ginny Zapar Cohen is a blogger, an entrepreneur, a freelance graphic designer, a mom and a chronic overachiever fueled by life, family losses and her coffee addiction. She is an activist for children with disabilities as co-director of Surfers Healing Virginia Beach, taking kids with autism surfing, and a runner for Team Hoyt VB, which pushes children with disabilities in road races. Through her blogging and writing she strives to capture the inspiring slices of the human spirit with her raw and heart felt prose. Her accomplishments include a brief stint as the third grade spelling bee champion, her recognition as one of the “Ten Most Beautiful Women of Hampton Roads” in 2011 for her contributions to the community, and paddle boarding 26 miles around the island of Manhattan.