I read posts all of the time from proud mommas saying “how much you’ve grown”, or “what a perfect baby you were” or “remember that time when”…. I don’t have many of those. It would all be dishonest. Although I love so much the person you are, I don’t remember a whole lot about how you got there. I don’t have memories of scout meetings or PTA meetings or sleep over parties. I don’t have markings on the door frame telling me how tall you were at age 3. I don’t have a lock of your hair, or a saved tooth. I don’t remember what I bought you for your 1st Christmas.
I am an addict.
I am an addict, and most of my time was spent in the bathroom looking for that ever elusive vein. Whether it was tears or dirty diapers or just wanting me to watch cartoons with you, well, sorry…couldn’t quite pull that one off with this equipment, I had bigger and more important fish to fry. I do remember you sitting across from me in the visiting room behind a Plexiglas barrier asking me “why?”
And I could spend a lot of time telling you how sorry I am, because I am. Or I could spend a lot of time feeling sorry for myself or sorry for you, but it doesn’t fix anything and it wouldn’t serve either of us. What I can do is make my amends, every single day. I can celebrate the memories I do have and the ones we make today. I can be proud of the young man you are and continue to become and be grateful that so many of the spiritual principles that have saved my life, have inadvertently saved yours. Proud that you have become a child of forgiveness and hope and 3rd chances. Proud that you aren’t judgmental or rigid, that you are tolerant and kind. I can celebrate the fellowship that has grown up around you as you have grown up around me. I can sit back and smile and let you make your mistakes and revel in your triumphs and all the stuff that falls somewhere in between. I can breathe a sigh of relief when you make better choices than I did and I can be there when you don’t. I can be grateful that beyond all reason you love me; that despite all evidence to the contrary, I can love you without bounds and do my best to be what you need me to be. I can show up. I can be present.