Crafting a Childhood They'll Cherish
Family Friends

To Craft a Childhood: A Parent’s Unrelenting Duty

It's my duty to lead them down the right path. But, which one is that?


I remember clearly the very second my eyes met those of my newborn daughter. The delivery room was dark and my hospital bed was elevated under spotlights. It had been a long and difficult journey to get to this moment. I'd entered the facility about 18 hours beforehand, certain that labor was imminent. After hours of walking around the corridor, contractions that contorted my entire body, and endless tears that poured from my body like a faucet I couldn't turn off, I finally consented to medication that sped the process along. As soon as she entered my arms, I knew something major had shifted inside me.

People talk all the time about knowing for sure when they're ready to have kids. My sister and I had this exact discussion over our monthly siblings dinner last Tuesday. She admitted she didn't feel that "pull." Kids weren't her dream right now, and she was worried they might not ever be. After reassuring her that it's perfectly fine either way, I explained that I never really felt an overwhelming impetus to be a parent. My husband and I simply understood it to be the next step in our decade-long relationship, of which we'd been married for five.

But, that second when she was finally on this side of me, I felt it. I felt a responsibility and a call like none other. I was to be the earthly shepherd to this child, and two years later, to her newborn brother. Now mind you, I'm someone who can't make a decision at a restaurant. I worry I'm going to pick the wrong plate and mess up the entire order. I stress over conversations with loved ones, picking a date night spot with my husband and myriad other miniscule, insignificant choices. The issue isn't that I'm indecisive. Rather, it's the fact that I don't love responsibility. I get nervous when something is entrusted to me. I'm loyal and loving and hard-working to a fault but inevitably, I doubt my own abilities, especially when something else hinges on them.

So now, with two children younger than five under my wing, I've understandably had my fair share of concerns. Who am I, that these perfect, innocent babies are mine to guide along this crazy, uncertain world? How can I be sure I'm making the right decisions and leading them down the right paths? I see two realities in every scenario. There's the reality that exists if I go this way, and then the one that exists if I go that route.

Take our upcoming move, for instance. When we change homes, we change school districts. We change the friends they're going to be in class with. We change our commute times and how long it takes to walk to my parents' house. We change who they go to prom with, who they pal around with, and which teachers instruct them.

There's the reality that exists if we stay where they are. They'll go to the newer school in town, the one that everyone says is more like a private school. Later, they'll attend the same middle and high school that I did. We will remain in our tiny brick cottage by the side of the road. I'll worry every time they go outside about their distance to the street. But, we'll keep our glorious backyard, the one with the blueberries and the muscadines. The one with the swing her papa built, swaying from the pecan tree out back. We'll keep our beloved "neighbor girls" who are only a few years older than my kids. The ones who come over with shovels and ask my daughter if she wants to go digging in the woods.

Then, there's the reality that exists if we go. We'll live with my in-laws for a year and my daughter will start kindergarten at the school where my sister teaches. We'll spend a year fixing up our forever home, and our starter home will be completely erased from their memories. We'll tear the current home down to its studs. We'll install a new HVAC system, new roof, new sheetrock and a new expansion on the right side. Instead of growing up near fruit trees and the road, their childhood will be spent playing in the enormous expanse of woods that fill the back of our property. They'll spend summers running in the fields around our home, flanked by forests and rows of corn. They'll read under the flowering Japanese cherry blossoms and spend hours talking to me at the big kitchen island we're planning to build.

You see the challenge? Both realities sound lovely. Both sound full of charm and possibility. Yet, what unforeseen complications lie dormant just underneath? How can I be certain that the choice I make doesn't negatively affect anyone? The truth is that I can't. To craft a childhood for them simply means doing my best with the knowledge I have. It means making a conscious decision upon waking every morning that I will put joy in their hearts and fill their days with laughter. Someone once told me to create the memories I want them to have. I'm in the privileged position of being able to do that, and that's precisely how I intend to move forward, one faithful step at a time.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less

Naya Rivera Is Missing, And She Deserves SO Much More Than Being Labeled 'Big Sean's' Ex'

We are all sending prayers to Naya Rivera hoping she finds them so we can find her.

I woke up this morning looking to find Naya Rivera's name trending No. 1 on Twitter. I was reading all of everyone's prayers wishing to find her so she can be reunited with her baby boy who is only 4 years old.

Naya's son's name is Lord and the entire collective is hoping the Lord is with him right now. I'm a firm believer in the Fear of God, I hope all of Naya's love is protecting Lord right now.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments