So I’m still getting such positive and encouraging responses to my blog “I’m Not Ashamed”. Again, thanks everyone.
One thing that did develop when I became a parent myself, is the super over the top vigilance that I mastered and drove my children crazy with. Though it was created in my own fears of what others would do, it benefited my children by giving them peace.
As soon as my children could understand what I was saying I told them to tell me if anyone ever touched them inappropriately. I made it clear it was safe to tell me. Because I not only told them repeatedly to tell me, I asked them all of the time. Apparently I asked them too much because my youngest, when she was about ten or eleven, had clearly gotten the message. I had said something to her about it when she stopped, looked at me and stated quite clearly “mom STOP ASKING, if anyone tries to touch me I WILL TELL YOU.”
It was my job to empower them with the courage to tell someone NO! And I believe I accomplished that. When someone did try to touch one of them, she did tell me. And it was addressed immediately.
It was my job to protect them as much as possible. Even when I could not be with them. I wanted them to know The Mom was RIGHT THERE. They knew there was NO fear in telling me if someone was trying to hurt them. Even if they wanted to do something stupid and potentially hurt themselves. Which led to other directives from mom to child.
When they were old enough to start going with others, with kids without adult supervision I started the:
“You will not smoke, drink, do drugs, or have sex” mantra.
Of course they would roll their eyes and get mad. And soon they would mock me and repeat it with me when they were leaving. They would ask “we know mom we know you don’t have to keep saying it”.
Yes, yes I did.
“Why!?” they would ask standing at the door embarrassed because their friends were often a part of this.
“Because if I don’t say it every single time you leave you will take it as it’s okay to do it because I didn’t say it.”
Eye rolls, kisses goodbye, love yous and they left.
When my youngest was about 17 she wanted to sit in the car while I ran in the store. I made her roll up the windows and lock the doors and repeated for the zillioneth time not to talk to anyone.
Eye rolls and “God mom”. But she did it.
The whole point of what I said, repeatedly, okay…drilled in to them: was that I needed them to hear me even when I wasn’t there. I needed them to know mom loves them, will watch over them, and I need them to protect themselves as well. And if anyone else steps over that line in to the protected zone around my child… that person was no longer safe.
I feel the things that happened to me in my life were lessons I must pay attention to. Maybe my children thought me over protective. But I know what lurks out there. And I still tell them what they should do. I don’t think they always listen. But they sometimes do. And today? Today they joke about knowing I was everywhere and knew everything. Funny thing is, I knew most things from what they said and did. Because they told me.
And that, that, is the blessing in my life and what happened to me.