As a parent, you look forward to certain milestones in your child’s life. There is joy in watching the first step or hearing the first word. On the flip side, a parent has the responsibility of having “The Talks”. We talk to our children about values, trust, safety, boundaries, puberty, alcohol/drugs, and sex. Early on I established what I referred to as “The Mommy Rules”. I sent my daughter out to face the world knowing the following simple rules.
I will always love you.
I am proud of you no matter what.
Be who you are.
A few weeks ago, I was faced with having a talk that I was not prepared to give. I had to tell my teenage daughter that her father was in jail. Even now as I write the words, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. I found out he was taken to jail when my brother called me and told me it was on the local news. I knew I needed to tell her before she found out from someone else. I left work early and picked her up from school. I was waiting in the parking lot and it felt like she was the last person out of the building. She knew there was something wrong when she saw me standing in front of the school.
Erin got in the car.
I told her.
She put in her favorite CD and
We ended up at the Hershey Chocolate World that day. We bought huge bags of chocolate chip cookies. It was a sad day but the emotion which resonates most clearly is anger. Tom was given so many opportunities to change his path but he didn’t. It did not have to be this way.