The past is never over.

‎”We may be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.” – Bergen Evans

I have lots of friends and family who are struggling with this issue. Not so much in terms of their own lives, but in terms of their children.

Endings

It seems there are lots of parents out there who suddenly realize they have “made a mistake” and don’t feel all that compelled to continue on with the whole family thing.

They leave. And divorce is so common now we don’t even really bat an eye. But these couples don’t just disintegrate and then everyone lives happily ever after – because there are children.

It seems to be quite popular to tire of being a parent. ( I have to admit this has always been so. Every single parent has had some days when they are tired of the job. Always. Everywhere. Kids can be so draining, so resource intense, so bratty, so not what we expected. They can get on your very last nerve. And then you take a deep breath and realize you love them in spite of all this.)

Some parents have decided they really are tired and wish to quit or withdraw their employment status or something.

In divorce decrees, the courts look to the interest of the child(ren) and assign a sharing of time and money. Some people follow these parceling of assets to the exact letter of the law and not one iota more or less. If the decree didn’t say you had to pay for Daughter’s unforeseen emergency, then you aren’t paying for it. If Son gets into some unknown problem and it wasn’t in the decree – tough.

Some lousy parents don’t even measure up to the minimum requirements of the divorce decree. They become Deadbeat Parents. They don’t manage to show up when they are supposed to. They want to “return” the kids before the mandated time is up. They don’t remember to send the child support. They forget to pay their portion of shared bills.

The past isn’t yet through with you. Your children are your children until the end of time. And more importantly – you reap what you sow. Years from now when your son or daughter do not invite you to their wedding, maybe they are just being careful not to infringe on your time – knowing this wasn’t spelled out in the decree.

Years from now, they may be forced to select your nursing home. They have learned from you that you didn’t like living with them, so they will have no thought to inviting you to their homes.

Years from now, you may be in some trouble that needs younger, stronger bodies to help get you past. You have taught your children that other things are more important.

You can’t escape the fact that you have become a parent. It isn’t optional after the fact. Your choices are creating a chain of events that will come back and bind you in the selfishness you displayed to your offspring when they needed you most.

Be careful what you decide today for it will become your past and it will not be through with you.

 

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