I remember asking myself that very question nearly every day of my childhood. My parents just weren't cool enough, fun enough...good enough.
This isn't a rant against my parents, in fact, those days are gone. On my wedding day, my relationship with my mom literally changed. We used to be enemies. There wasn't one day in my teenage years (I got married at 19, so there weren't many years besides that) that we didn't have one major blow-up at each other. I so loved getting under my mom's skin, and she so loved falling into that trap. Day after day we'd scream, we'd fight, I'd slam the door in her face and not feel one ounce of guilt. It was horrible! But the day I got married I remember getting ready to leave on my honeymoon, and my mom came and gave me a hug. It wasn't just a regular hug. I could feel the sense of loss and knew she already missed me. The tears welled in my eyes and from that moment on, we've been the best of friends.
So why the trip down memory lane? Because my turn has come to be the be the "worst parent in the world". In the last week alone I have heard the following statements from my cherubic little children:
"You are SO mean!"
"You never let me do anything I want to do!"
"We always have to clean!"
"You NEVER want to be my friend!"
"You can't be my friend! You're just my mom!"
"I HATE YOU!!!"
To be perfectly honest, my kids have never said these things to me until this week. Let me say that it is a blow to your ego to be told these things. I thought I would be different. I wanted to be the cool mom, the one that all the kids wished was their own. I guess I'm not. I guess I'm just like all the other evil mothers who only want the worst for her children and never wants them to have any fun.
I think the desire for another life and another set of parents carries over in to other aspects of life, as well. How many times have I asked God, "Why didn't you bless my with THAT house?", "Why does she get to drive THAT car?", "Why do I have to do THAT?" It's pathetic how many times I whine about not getting to have or do what someone else does. If only we could move up just one spot, then life would be all the better, right?
In our research and classes for Adoption Education, I've been learning incredibly interesting facts about other races and cultures. It's daunting to think about bringing another life from a completely different culture, country, and race into our family, but exciting as well to incorporate new foods, holidays, and lifestyles into our home.
Last night, we were learning about the cultural reasons for adoption in Africa, and it really hit me hard. Besides the most common reasons of poverty, poor health, and HIV/AIDS, one reason particularly stood out to me. In Africa, many women who are about to be married for a second time, usually due to the death of their first husband, have to choose between their second husband or their children from the first marriage. Because of poverty and starvation, many women are taking into consideration their own survival in this world. They may see that this man can potentially save their own life by providing a living. So in essence, they have to give up their children (which are seen as unwanted by the new husband) in order to save their own life.
It was like a punch to the stomach to hear that. We, as a culture, cannot even understand the decisions that these women around the world have to make. I cannot understand how children can be seen as wasteless property, when I treat my children as kings and queens of this world. It's heartbreaking. The pain, the hunger, the poverty, the hopelessness these people face on a daily basis.
And I am concerned about the new Expedition that woman is driving? How selfish! How sickening!
My heart breaks for my sisters in Africa. I yearn to care for the moms in Ethiopia who are currently making a decision of whether they are able to risk their own life to keep the life of her child. It's not fair on so many levels and yet this is the reality for women around the world.
I am so grateful for the richly blessed life I live here. I'm thankful for being born into the United States, for having hard-working parents who expected the same from me, for having a diligent, determined husband who works to give us a wonderful life, and for three beautiful children who right now are wishing that someone else's mother was their own. We all learn through the lives of others and someday they will appreciate me...I hope.
"Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills...When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:1-5, 21-26