Whatever will be, will be.
Man, that’s hard. For everyone, right? But then you go and be an adult and have children and you are responsible for those little humans. Whatever will be, will be? Can’t write that on a page in my planner. That sounds like open-ended crazy talk.
It doesn’t have to be negative or bad, there are positive sides to holding your arms open and telling the universe, “come at me, bruh.” No matter our intentions or our own upbringing, we do our best and hold our breath for the day when they start having their foundations tested. When they hold their breath and do their best.
I think despite our shortcomings and failing moments, the true message generally gets through and it leaves them jumping off the edge with confidence, knowing they have a plan and are prepared to meet the future and shape it their way. What they find there is out of everyone’s control. That is as it should be, though difficult. That’s growing up. That coveted transference of imaginary power and control.
As parents of small children, that control or power is easy. At least it was for me. Sure, not easy to do but easy to understand. I knew what was needed of me, what was required. We’re back to our basic roots and understanding of survival – we do what we need to do. Love the baby, feed the baby, bathe the baby, swaddle the baby, protect the baby. But what about when the baby grows an attitude and a dislike for mashed produce?
Sometimes whatever will be, will be because there’s no way to plan for it. My oldest, though very similar to me at her age, is so much different than I ever was. How could I have forseen what her day would be like every day? What her environment would be like outside of my influence?
And to say raising each child was that same basic instinct would be naive. They were all so different. The first was mild mannered and “easy”. The second was a very happy baby but he never slept unless he was literally laying on my body. The third preferred her thumb over the beloved “fia” (pacifier) and cried through her many battles with anxieties. My last was similar to my second in demeanor but struggled with her health and had breathing that needed constant attention and treatments. She, though it wasn’t much of a surprise, never took a pacifier or a thumb. Honestly, with a nebulizer mask over her face for so much of her little life, how could she?
These are things I never could have prepared for. And then when the attitudes and opinions grew? All bets were off – it was (and still is) an entirely new game.
Today they’re all independent in their own ways. Even down to the youngest who’s just past four years old. Their physical needs have grown into emotional needs. They can feed themselves, wash in the shower, or (generally) keep themselves safe – but emotionally I’m not useless yet. What used to be as simple as a warm blanket, fia, and a hushed song now requires forgiveness over slammed doors and second chances after angsty, attitude-laden comments.
But between ripping off bandaids and “ruining their lives”, my job is relatively simple – being there when they need me. Which may be the hardest job of all. If they would just listen! We’ve all been in their shoes at one point or another, and we don’t have all the answers either. But “use my experiences”, we might plead, “learn from my mistakes!” They won’t. Have you ever tried to plan for every outcome for your child, to fix what isn’t yours to fix? Life happens, it’s messy and it gets in the way. Planned or not, it happens and it’s maddening. They need to have their own experiences, learn their own lessons.
The religious side of me looks at my personal experiences with being a parent and wonders how difficult it must be to be our Heavenly Father. To have rejected the plan of a son who wanted to just “make it work” only to watch us all completely butcher doing it right. He chose choice over force; freedom, flexibility, and forgiveness over rigid conformity. The ultimate example of all-encompassing patience and love. Maybe that’s the message? If you’re meeting the necessities, is there a “doing it right”? Our kids might have to repeat our mistakes, each one of them in their own way. But if they learn the lesson and their lives are better for it, wasn’t that the goal? To teach them how to find the path, not just to show it to them?
It’s true. Beyond me, or my parents, or their parents – all the way back to the beginning. You love, you try, you work hard, you sacrifice. And still? Whatever will be, will be.
And, thank goodness.