Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Article #201 Finding Your Path

             Families can be the key to self-fulfillment when parents provide a home for young ones to be nurtured, protected and guided. Even if a family is dysfunctional because of divorce, death or other reasons, a home is a necessary starting place in finding your own path. Siblings will offer opportunities to learn cooperation and sharing, while extended family members including grandparents can be positive examples. Examples abound in families, functional or not, of how children have their free will to follow a parent or sibling’s example or take a new different path. Tremendous disadvantages (handicaps, abuse, poverty, etc.) can be overcome and provide opportunity for individual growth.

            I’ve heard that we as an adult learn more from raising our children than we did from our own parents. Having a family is part of the process of finding self and our path, both as a parent and a child. As I look back on my life, I’ve come to realize the growth that I made as a person struggling after a divorce as a single parent with a family of sons to raise alone. Happy ever after was my original goal, but surviving, growing and persisting in raising responsible healthy young men who would start their own families was my new goal. I now have grandchildren who are helping my sons and daughter-in-laws to continue their growth as adults. Everyone is part of a family whether they claim them or not.

            I tried to capture this cycle of learning in a poem called Labyrinth: Ahead lies the path not straight and narrow / curving and turning back on itself. / I begin my journey slowly wondering where it leads. / Not knowing but trusting, I continue. / Setbacks and obstacles come, / yet always a direction opens. / At last I find the center, but it continues.  / As I return the cycle repeats, others follow along. / Birth, a beginning / carefree childhood, adolescent questioning, / playful courtship, marriage then commitment, / soon children come to a new family. / Parenting challenges end with an empty nest / as young ones begin the cycle anew. / Their children will follow / the worn footsteps of the same path. / Soon I am bent and gray, my walk slows, / I know the way, where it leads. / Back to where I began. / I watch my children follow the same path / and long to guide them. NEXT TIME: Old Fashion Fun

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