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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life Goes On...

There are times when being a parent can be somewhat of a challenge. Over the past few months I have struggled with personal illness, family life, and having a friend who lost her 4 year old child to a tragic accident. These times when life is a struggle, it is easy to feel as though you are not really doing a good job at being a parent. There are many days that just drift by without much interaction between you and your children - beyond the basic necessities of life - or days where your children take care of you more than you take care of them.

I have been amazed over the past couple of months at just how adept Kira is at "taking care of" her little sister. She has developed into a very strong and caring little girl. She helps around the house by sweeping, cleaning her room, and getting things for Marisa whenever needed.

As a mother it would be relatively easy for me to see this time of inaction as a failure or an inadequacy on my part. After all, there are things that I should have been doing that were never done. Kira has taken on a great deal of responsibility that is not really hers to take. I never forced that on her. Instead she chose to make these things her focus. I do have to remind her frequently that I am the mother and I am the one who has the responsibility of disciplining the little sister. Kira likes to be a bit - ahem - bossy... with Marisa at times.

When I see how caring Kira can be, I realize that my weaknesses are not failures as a parent. Instead they have been an opportunity for Kira to grow into her own strengths and practice being sensitive to the needs of others. I have given her a chance to shine in her independence and enjoy the benefits of accomplishing things on her own. There is a great lesson in being able to solve problems and fix things without the interference of anybody else telling you what to do or how to do it.

Now that I am getting better - finally - I can see just how much Kira has grown into her own place over the past two months. While I might feel a tad bit guilty about my lack of energy, I have to admit that the experience has been good for both of my girls.