Portioning the Parental Pie

Photo by cottonbro studio:

The number of blogposts I read each day vary in number, but there are many. I do not always comment on each one I read, but often something in the content resonates with me.

Yesterday when I read Wynne Leon’s Surprised by Joy blog post “Healing the Micro Wounds” this phrase stayed with me.

…I have to consider that some things we do as adults are healing the little wounds we got as children.

Wow. I had a good childhood, but being the youngest of four, I quickly realized my parents only had so much to give. It made me wonder what, if anything, I missed by being the youngest.

Childhood was great overall. There is no doubt each of us viewed our relationships with our parents from our own positional pedestal. I learned this when my sisters and I spent a week together in the Georgia mountains.

My oldest sister felt she carried too much responsibility. The middle children felt like they had to compete for everything. I felt I spent too much time by myself. Viewing each other was a different story.

As the youngest, the consensus was that I was spoiled but from my perspective I was lonely.  My older siblings were out and about and I was often left alone. They hated dragging me along and fought it whenever possible. This may be when my introversion took root.

When my siblings left home I was the sole observer of all the ups and downs of my parents’ relationship and at that time, there were many. When mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, there was no one left for me to lean on. I grew up fast. At 16, I suddenly felt like an only child.

I read a comment Pete Johnson BeetleyPete left on one of my posts and I was surprised at how much detail he remembers about his early life. Is it hard for me to remember some of the details because my memories were diluted?

I loved my parents. Being the last child at home also had its benefits. There were longer adult talks. My mom and I were fortunate our relationship transitioned to a friendship. There is also a strength born of shared hardships. My dad and I got closer, too. That closeness lasted the remainder of his life.

Maybe this is why my relationship with my children is so important to me. We laugh together but we also share conversations of deep substance. I feel blessed and I never want either of them to feel like there was not enough of me to go around.